A workshop supporting migrant communities with tools for writing, design and mediation to reclaim their stories from the media bias.
‘My Stories, My Terms’ is an initiative enabling a group of individuals with migrant and displacement experiences to tell their stories on their own terms. The objective is to equip them with the tools to write, reclaim, design and share their own stories, eliminating any agenda, exploitation or external influence.
Post-2011, designers, urban planners, architects, researchers and academics used Berlin to shake complacency; the number of projects related to refugees is innumerable across all sectors, funding is relatively easy and exposure is guaranteed for any socially claimed project. However, many of these projects are interested in funding and self-promotion – everyone wants a slice of the cake – rather than a true commitment to social purpose. As a result, refugees are left feeling exploited by the media and the inflating number of academics interviewing them every day. While the media insists on having a strong point of view and use refugee stories to reinforce it, the project decided to alter that role and free these stories from agendas.
The workshop’s reformulated idea makes a direct use of design and writing techniques in a forward, targeted format rather than a theoretical framework. It included specific tools for writing, feedback exchange and a basic use of semiotics and visual metaphors to illustrate an idea. The goal is to initiate an autonomous experience in storytelling where the authors are not dependent on media to translate their journey but instead have complete control over their recollections and current challenges they face.
Their stories are tales and non-apologetic personal accounts. For the coming period, the work of the participants will be compiled into visual and textual outcomes, while ‘My Stories, My Terms’ help their visual word reach the widest audience possible.
‘My Stories, My Terms’ is available on Facebook.
WhatDesignCanDo, Punt, Oplatz, Kubinaut, RSA ENGAGE: Thinking through design – London, INTERVENTIONEN 2016 – Berlin
The project was made possible by Dérive Berlin, a scholarship awarded by Avans Centre for Art and Design in cooperation with Belius Foundation Berlin. Each year, Dérive Berlin offers 2 outstanding students enrolled in the Bachelor of Communication & Multimedia Design or at the School of Fine Art and Design St.Joost the opportunity to visit Berlin.