Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Children in Communication about Migration - CHICAM, Final Report, EUR 23113

Project ID: HPSE-CT-2001-00048


CHICAM was concerned with the actual experiences, contributions and opinions of refugee and migrant children. This "action research" project established media clubs in six European countries (U.K, Italy, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece). In each club a researcher and a media educator worked with recently arrived refugee and migrant children to make visual representations of their lives and their experiences in their new locations. Using the Internet, a communications network was established between the clubs to facilitate the sharing of the clubs' media productions. Through focusing on 4 research themes (peer relations, experiences of school, family relations and visual communications) the project investigated how these children represented and expressed their experiences of migration and how their use of new media might enable their perspectives to inform the development of European educational and cultural policies.
The children in the CHICAM clubs made over 50 media productions. These included many different representations of their lives and beliefs and drew on their varied experiences of media forms and genres. These ranged from animations, documentaries, music videos, drama and role play to free form expressions. The project researchers examined the social and technical processes of production, visited the children's homes and neighbourhoods, spent time in their schools and analysed the internet communications and final productions. From this data the project was able to gain an in depth understanding of the children's lives. Their primary aim was to fit in and belong in their new locations of residence, to build effective local connections and social and linguistic skills that would allow them to sustain culturally diverse local and global family and peer networks. Crucially, their everyday situations encouraged them to resist the label 'refugee' and often to hide their experiences of migration and discrimination.

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