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MIGRANT LIVES IN PANDEMIC TIMES: A collection of personal stories and the policy change they inspire

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This project aims to investigate, discuss and raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by migrant workers in Canada and around the world as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It seeks to mobilise knowledge beyond the limits of the university by developing a Digital Storytelling Platform accessible to a wide range of audiences, including civil society stakeholders, policy makers, scholars, and researchers.

The on-going Covid-19 pandemic has left no life untouched. However, in addition to the collective trauma caused by the isolation and uncertainty resulting from Covid-19 restrictions, migrant workers around the world have faced unique challenges based on where they are and their immigration status. This project seeks to highlight the ways in which their everyday work and livelihoods have changed under the pandemic by focusing on a series of important themes, notably work, housing, migration status and family. By foregrounding the voices and experiences of migrant protagonists across the globe and having them take an active role in the production of their stories, the project seeks to bridge migrant experiences to build solidarity, empathy and inform policy and practices across borders. At the same time, it also builds an international network of early career researchers (“scholars”) to share and exchange ideas and raise awareness regarding new and pre-existing challenges for migrants that have become exacerbated by the pandemic.

The project pairs twelve researchers from around the world – Canada, the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ghana, South Africa, India and Singapore – with 12 migrant protagonists. Researchers are supported by project partner, Migration Matters, external link, a German media non-profit that has coached researchers through digital story-telling workshops and consultations. The completed films will be the source of policy commentaries to be drafted by researchers in response to the issues raised by the migrant protagonists.

CERC Migration has partnered with Migration Matters, external link, a non-profit organization founded in January 2016 in response to media coverage about the so-called refugee crisis. Their mission is to empower the public to have more nuanced and evidence-based conversations about migration.

The project launches to the public with a premiere of all documentary shorts October 28, 2021.  A platform of documentaries and policy commentary will be launched at ryerson.ca/migrantlives.

CERC Migration

Covid-19, pandemic, migration, lived-experience, digital-story-telling