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Intro to The Centre Cannot Hold project
CLIMATE CHANGE TESTIMONIES FROM REFUGEES
This pilot project will use video and multimedia techniques to compile testimonial data from people of refugee backgrounds, promote discussion about the current effects of climate change, and explore how changes may affect Manchester, including prospects for future migration, refuge and asylum.
Increasing numbers of people in the UK are sceptical of man-made climate change, outnumbering those who accept climate change as man-made. Many local members of refugee communities have recent personal experiences and observations from their originating countries which are able to testify to environmental change. By enabling local refugees to express first-hand observations from countries they have recently migrated from, collaborating with scientists and social scientists to discuss their data, local people can intimately appreciate changing conditions in other countries. At the same time, it is an opportunity to raise discussion in the UK about the global connections between race and climate, and also how they may impact on issues such as asylum in Europe and the West.
this century, most of the world’s population is predicted to die as a result of
climate change, the majority of these will be in poor countries and the single
greatest impact of climate change could be on human migration. A pilot project
is being developed involving three organisations to begin to make a change.
These organisations are the arts, digital media and cultural group Virtual
Migrants, the Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures (RICC) at Manchester
University, and also Manchester Refugee Support Network (MRSN) who are
supporting the project. This work will link in as a part of “The Centre Cannot
Hold” project initiated by Virtual Migrants in 2009.
addition to this participatory research through a cultural production process,
there will be a multidisciplinary forum formed involving academics, community
members and cultural workers which, before the interviews are conducted, will
discuss what kinds of data and questions should be asked, and then after the
interviews to analyse/discuss the results of the interviews and their potential.
Each partner brings unique strengths to this collective task. Virtual Migrants has extensively used media arts to collect and present diverse community voices. Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures (RICC), comprising interdisciplinary researchers, can provide expertise in migration, climate change, and sustainable cities. Manchester Refugee Support Network (MRSN) strives to give refugees a voice and works with grass-roots members in all of the geographical areas named in the guidelines. Scientist Ernesto Hernandez has considerable knowledge of and networked links with climate change. He has a personal interest in migration issues and communities such as refugees, based on knowledge and experience of Mexicans in the USA. Simon Guy combines academic skills in engineering, sustainable architecture and sociology.
really is a great opportunity to develop a fantastic project, and to begin
an ongoing collaborative dialogue between these partners who have all
expressed an interest to continue after this project. The intention is
for this to form the basis for a collaborative interest group and an ongoing
forum towards a wider project.
Supported by Manchester Beacon and Manchester University