New Narratives

Promoting refugee & asylum seeker civic participation through third sector capability building

Refugees and asylum seekers to the UK experience high levels of social and economic exclusion as discrimination. Third sector organisations supporting migrants are typically under-resourced and have limited skills and capability to use digital technologies to further their cause and that of the people they support. Our project addresses three fundamental barriers that prevent refugees and asylum seekers from engaging with civic participation – the first is the spread of fake-news via social networks; the second is lack of visibility of newly arrived migrants that lead to myths, xenophobia and racism, and the third is signposting newly arrived migrants to relevant and up to date resources

Folkestone is a site for the arrival of migrants on boats from France and has become a focal point for anti-migrant campaigners. However, it also has a history of offering a safe harbour to vulnerable people which we want to enhance, sustain and embed through our project. With the anti-migrant rhetoric taking a hold on the public imagination, our project seeks to build capacity of third sector organisations supporting refugees and asylum seekers to counter negative stereotypes and elevate their voices and experiences, as well as to scale their advocacy and outreach. Ultimately our project is needed to counter discrimination and promote empathy and understanding amongst local communities and the wider public.

Team

Dr Abhay Adhikari, Founder of Digital Identities (Project Lead)

Professor Dorothée King, Head of Department Arts and Design Education, Academy for Arts and Design, Basel

Diane Dever, interdisciplinary artist/curator/producer, Folkestone Fringe

Dr Victoria Betton Founder of PeopleDotCom