The Ethics and Politics of the Refugee Crisis was a year long integrated programme of activities about migration, aimed at strengthening collaboration between academic research, civil society, education and the culture sectors via avenues of creative expression. I was commissioned to create visual materials to help focus conversations at workshops and record the overall process.
Based on team reflections and feedback from visitors at the project art exhibition Call me by my name: stories from Calais and Beyond, I made sense of key themes I saw emerging from the comments. I then drew a set of illustrated cards of each theme and these were used as discussion aids at a project workshop and later in a booklet showcasing the responses. The images were created entirely by hand using acrylic ink with dip pens and brushes. The commission also included graphic recording at a showcase event in December 2016 at the Rich Mix Gallery in London. The live illustration generated social media responses from the audience and triggered deeper conversations between people.
Finally, the work has also been included in a teacher resource pack aimed at teachers who wish to stimulate discussion on the project topics in their classrooms.
Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the programme was a partnership between Citizenship and Governance research at The Open University, The University of Oxford’s Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), the Migration Museum Project, actREAL and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).