Listening to the “Strangers” Among Us: Exploring Current Narratives of Fear and Resistance
A screening of Strangers at Home and discussion of xenophobia in Europe and North America with Dr. Shayna Plaut
In Europe, waves of immigrants - some political refugees fleeing wars; others fleeing a system that assumes a migration of capital without people - have renewed feelings of resentment towards people perceived as “outsiders.” Such political and economic uncertainty has led some politicians to search for scapegoats in traditionally ostracized communities like the Roma and Jews, as well as immigrant communities. Extremist voices are gaining political power, inspiring some Europeans to take to the streets to “claim back” their place. As a result, millions of people in Europe are feeling like strangers at home.
This desire for a simple, digestible narrative, is reflected in media reporting often leading to dangerous effects in subsequent policy discussions. Strangers at Home - a nine segment “anthology documentary” - challenges traditional content and method. By working with a multiplicity of storytellers across different geographical, social, political and professional locations, Strangers at Home problematizes the simple narrative and embraces the complexity and nuance of this troubling trend. Through journalists, cartoonists, neo-fascists and every-day-youth, Strangers at Home provides a new means of reporting on such unfolding and multilayered issues. How is the rise of The Right manifesting in different countries? Who is cast aside as the strangers, often in their own “home”: Roma, Jews, LGBT peoples, people with Muslim or Arab last names? More importantly: Why is this happening? And how is this affecting and affected by the majority populations in these countries?
Monday, April 17, 2017
Graff Main Hall Auditorium- Room 260
A Post-Colonial Approach to Journalism: Implications for Islamophobia
This presentation is a post-colonial analysis to map the relationship between foreign journalists, local “fixers” who assist foreign reporters on assignments, and its effect on international news coverage. The research focuses on examining the ethics of power imbalances of race, language and nationality and how this affects the creation of “news” in the Global North. This talk with Dr. Shayna Plaut-- co-investigator of the Fixers project, which reached over 450 people in 85 countries -- will explore the findings of the study as well as its implications for the rise of Islamophobia in western media and policy.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Graff Main Hall Auditorium- Room 260
About Shayna Plaut:
Dr. Shayna Plaut’s work sits at the intersection of academia, journalism and advocacy. Focusing on how people represent themselves in their own media in order to create social and political change, Shayna has a particular interest in peoples who do not fit neatly within the traditional notions of the nation-state, including: Roma, refugees and immigrants. She has researched and engaged with Romani media, migrant media and Indigenous media in Canada, the US and Europe since 2001. As a Fulbright and Vanier scholar, she has lived and worked in Hungary and the Balkans. Shayna is the Research Manager for the Global Reporting Centre and the project manager for Strangers at Home.
Shayna's academic writing has been published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Journalism Practice, Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, The European Educational Research Journal, and International Journal for Human Rights, as well as book chapters for Routledge, I.B. Tauris and SAGE. In addition, Shayna is the Human Rights Editor for Praxis Center for Social Justice (with Kalamazoo College). As an educator, researcher and journalist, Shayna has served as a consultant for the United Nation's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Amnesty International and a variety of migrant and human rights organizations. Shayna received her PhD from the University of British Columbia, her MA from the University of Chicago and is a proud alum of Antioch College.