From free online courses and research on how refugees are navigating life during the COVID-19 pandemic, to creative and artistic projects in refugee camps, and with child migrants separated from their families, there is so much to learn. The Open University has a rich archive of material that we want to share with you – material created by, with, for and about refugees.
Understanding Refugee Experiences will be of interest to anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge of the legal-political, economic and socio-cultural policies and frameworks that shape their lives. It also reveals the many 'small acts' of artistic resistance to marginalisation as well as the practical and creative expressions of solidarity networks. So if you are interested in the challenges facing asylum seekers, refugees and the undocumented as well as the many contributions they make to the UK, then take a moment to browse these pages and share them.
We all have much to learn from refugee experiences, especially at a moment when the global pandemic is disproportionately affecting minoritised and racialised groups and forcing us to reconsider who we are in relation to each other, what our responsibilities are as individuals, what community and solidarity now mean and to imagine better futures based on shared values of reciprocity, inclusion and equal rights for all. Find out more below.
Cov19: Chronicles from the Margins investigates the pandemic crisis from the perspectives of asylum seekers and refugees using creative methods and celebrating artful acts of resistance to marginalisation.Read now ❯COVID Chronicles from the Margins
For a long time, international students were not included in most migration debates because they were seen as temporary sojourners. Did things change?Read now ❯Stuck in the middle of a pandemic: are international students migrants?
Being a virtual prisoner in the house, frightened to go out? That’s what many refugees have gone through, often for years on end. First, in the war zones, they fled, for fear of state violence and armed gangs. Second, during the journey in search of safety, many are locked down for days or weeks or months. Third, in the UK, where some are locked in by anxiety, inability to communicate, or experiences of racism. Frightened of enemies which are not ‘invisible’. Refugee week this year comes as we emerge gingerly from lockdown. It is also an opportunity for the mainstream population to better understand the lives of asylum seekers and refugees. The collaborative works presented here represent many 'small acts' of artistic resistance and creative resilience to marginalisation, as well as myriad practical and creative expressions of solidarity. They do not objectify, do not rely on tropes of victimhood but speak of hope, agency and resilience through solidarity.Read now ❯Refugee Creativity and Communities of Solidarity
At The Open University, one key aspect we train social workers in, is understanding the law. We train students to explore how they can act ethically as social workers, encouraging them to apply their power as practitioners to challenge social injustice within the law.Read now ❯Campaigning for refugee and migrant women
How the Tate visitors got close to From A Distance.Listen now ❯The influence of From A Distance on audiences and participants
The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
Witnessing war through a smartphone lens
Wherever there are protests, conflicts and wars, the smartphone camera has become instrumental. Protests captured on camera can spark public debate and help trigger political change – as was the case with the Arab Spring.Watch now ❯Witnessing war through a smartphone lens
The words 'refugee' and 'asylum seeker' have a wide variety of connotations in Britain, many of them negative. This free course, Who counts as a refugee?, explores how changing social policy and terminology help to shape, and are shaped by, the experiences of people seeking asylum in the UK.Learn more ❯Who counts as a refugee?
They're all people on the move, but their motivations for travel can differ. Jan Semmelroggen explains the differences.Read now ❯What's the difference between a refugee, an asylum seeker and an economic migrant?
Public Radio Internation tells the story of Thair Orfahli's journey from war-riddled Syria to Munich.Read now ❯One refugee's story: A long, risky journey
It is feared that thousands of refugees will remain in limbo in Lesvos indefinitely, and that the world is simply looking the other way.Read now ❯Refugees languish in camps on Lesvos as conditions deteriorate
This timeline looks at the illegalisation of asylum seeking and the consequences it can have on people seeking sanctuary.Take part now ❯Timeline: The Criminalisation of Asylum
The Open University under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license
Explore the range of migrant experiences: Play Uneven Journeys
Uneven Journeys offers a new way of exploring the routes migrants take to the UK - it takes patience when one false move can put you back where you started.Take part now ❯Explore the range of migrant experiences: Play Uneven Journeys
'Why don't migrants learn English if they want to live here?' is one of those sentiments you'll have come across a lot if you've spent much time on Twitter. Maybe it's even flittered across your own mind from time to time. But, as Dr Ingrid Piller explains, just learning a language isn't as simple as that.Read now ❯What makes it hard for migrants to learn the language of their new home?
Copyright free: Photo by Pixabay
Reflections on resilience for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers
OU Associate Lecturer Catherine Pestano offers her reflections for Pride month, on her work within the wider LGBTQ+ community.Read now ❯Reflections on resilience for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers