Migration and inequality: time for a new story

Tuesday 13 July 2021

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A Coventry University-led migration project is aiming to tell the complicated story of the relationship between migration and global inequalities through an animated video, recreated in six languages.

The animation looks to demonstrate the importance of international research projects, which are able to generate new knowledge on migration issues, challenge political and media narratives, and ultimately contribute to improving the lives of those living in the Global South. Most importantly it puts inequalities at the heart of the story.

The Story of Migration video has been produced by the South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub (MIDEQ) and PositiveNegatives, a research based, creative organisation which produces literary comics, animations and podcasts about contemporary social and humanitarian issues.

For too long the story of migration has been dominated by the views and interests of the Global North. This story has focused on issues of security and border controls, ignoring the complex factors that drive people to move in different parts of the world. Migration is a part of our history and will inevitably be part of our future. If we want migration to work for everyone then we need to better understand and address the structural inequalities – poverty, gender inequalities, and racism – that drive migration and limit its potential to contribute to development.

Professor Heaven Crawley, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Chair in International Migration and Director of MIDEQ

Based on a script written with MIDEQ’s partners in 11 countries in the Global South (including Brazil, Ethiopia, Malaysia and South Africa), the animation illustrated by Karrie Fransman challenges many of the ideas that currently dominate media representations of migration, highlighting:

  1. The fact that migration between the countries of the Global South accounts for nearly half of all international migration, 70% in some places
  2. The complex reasons why people move including poverty, conflict and love
  3. The fact that inequalities are increasing and have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic
  4. The role of inequalities including gender and age in shaping migration decisions
  5. Inequalities in the ability to travel safely between the countries of the Global South
  6. The economic, political, social and cultural contributions made by migrants
  7. The implications of migration for those ‘left behind’

The video engages a wide range of audiences that feature in MIDEQ’s work and highlights the importance of understanding global migration from the perspectives of those living and working in the Global South.

The Story of Migration has been the most collaborative animation we’ve made at PositiveNegatives, co-produced with 17 partners across 11 countries and during the most challenging times when the COVID-19 pandemic has meant we needed to rely on new technologies to successfully collaborate. We wanted to make a film that engages a varied global audience from young students to senior policy makers in the complexities of migration and inequality. We think the film does exactly that.

Dr Benjamin Worku-Dix, Founding Director, PositiveNegatives

The film can be viewed in English, Portuguese, Tamil, Malay, French and Mandarin, and will be released in additional languages over the coming months.

For more details, please contact Baindu Kallon.