C9 Chalabi: Reading group: Refugees welcome

Wednesday 29 July at 16–18 CET

Hayfaa Chalabi

Refugees Welcome? is a comic that aims to explore the tool of illustrative storytelling to challenge governmental restrictions faced by refugee narratives in Sweden. This exploration is done through the study of stereotypes that stigmatise the refugee’s identity. The figure of the refugee is often shaped by the visual representation one consumes via mass media and the words one hears in political debates and social discourse. Refugees are often portrayed as immigrants and nothing but immigrants, faceless victims on news, and often de-named suffering people drowning in some ocean. This portrayal makes the humanity of the refugee invisible and defines me (the refugee) as a ‘’problem’’. The refugee has always been a crisis, ‘’A global refugee crisis’’, ‘’An integration crisis’’, and a ‘’European migrant crisis’’. This use of terminology results in a lot of feelings that become politicised and socialised such as fear, apathy, empathy and sometimes hate. In this discussion I will study the similarities between the nationalist and the refugee forced by the corona virus such as freedom to mobility and whether a pandemic can introduce more empathy and understanding to societies.

This Trace is a reading group open for all participants. The discussion takes place on Zoom.

Please register to Circle 9 to get access to the Zoom link. Read the comic before participating in the discussion!