The story of migration

Migration for Development and Equality (MIDEQ), together with PositiveNegatives, launched "The Story of Migration", an animation that tells the story of the complexity of the network between migration and inequality internationally.

Karrie Fransman illustrated the animation, and the production script is based on a script written with MIDEQ’s partners from 11 countries from the Southern region (Global South), including researchers from Monash University Malaysia.

Commenting on the animation Professor Heaven Crawley, Chair in International Migration and Director of MIDEQ said: “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, racism – that drive migration and limit its potential to contribute to development.”

The animation challenges many of the ideas that currently dominate media representations of migration and highlights:

  • Migration between the Global South countries accounts for over a third of all international migration, up to 70% in some places.
  • The complexities of the causes of migration include poverty, conflict and happiness.
  • Inequality is increasing and becoming more pronounced as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Part of the inequality covers gender and age influencing migration decisions.
  • Inequality covers the ability to migrate safely between countries in the Southern region.
  • Contributions in economic, political, social and cultural development by migrants.
  • Implications of migration on the ones left behind.

The animation engages a wide range of audiences in MIDEQ’s work and highlights the importance of understanding global migration from the perspectives of those living and working in the Global South. It reflects the importance of international research projects such as MIDEQ that are able to generate new knowledge on migration issues, challenge dominant political and media narratives and ultimately contribute to efforts aimed at improving the lives of those living in the Global South. Most importantly it puts inequalities at the heart of the story.

"The making of this short animation is itself a re-discovery of the complex entangled threads of the historical, socio-economic and geo-political forces structuring our perceptions and understanding of human mobility in the world today," shared MIDEQ Nepal-Malaysia corridor co-investigator Associate Professor Yeoh Seng-Guan.

The animations can be viewed in English, Portuguese, Tamil, Malay and Mandarin on YouTube. The animation will also be translated into several additional languages ​​in the coming months.

Founder and Director, PositiveNegative Dr Benjamin Worku-Dix stated that the Story of Migration had been the most extensive collaboration at PositiveNegatives: "It was co-produced with 17 partners across 11 countries and during the most challenging times. It meant we needed to rely on new technology to collaborate and physically work independently successfully. We wanted to make a film that engages a varied global audience, from young students to senior policymakers, in the complexities of migration and inequality. We think the film does exactly that."

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