Social Science Research Council Research AMP Mediawell

Human Lines

Von Wartensee, Ilaria

The objective of HumanLines is to understand and to narrate: stories, dynamics, experiences, and difficulties, which distinguish the encounter, quite often the clash,
and the interaction, between the people who migrate and communities of which they become a part.

People is the keyword. More and more people have been forced to relocate, yet fewer and fewer feel welcomed into their new countries, as indicated by our data.

The Humanitarian Corridors presents an alternative, viable path for these refugees to follow, still insufficient in the number of people involved, but interesting in the way that it approaches this community dynamic.

In our analysis we have gradually felt the need to broaden our gaze, participate in debates,
and involve participants in the sector, such as scholars, journalists, volunteers, and other protagonists in order to highlight the voices of those who partake in this complex experience.

The point of view, or the perspective from which one observes, is an important factor to take into consideration. We asked ourselves: what point of view is missing from the usual narrative of migration?
People who immigrate, or emigrate are usually told about the stories of migration by those who do not experience migration, or at least not the sort of migration which is highlighted throughout this process.

For this reason, in addition to Ilaria Schnyder’s direct analysis as a scholar and researcher, and in addition to the stories through images, drawings, and sounds – in the field whenever possible, or by virtual means throughout the pandemic –, we have chosen to start a new path.

It is called Human Factor, a self-narration workshop that sees boys and girls as protagonists,
put in a position to express themselves with their own experiences and thoughts, from that often missing perspective which may grant a new point of view to those who are not experiencing this process. The medium for which these stories are conveyed is via a simple smartphone. There is a wide array of content and experiences, as we have decided to let all of the participants tell their stories with total freedom of expression.