The Cross Talks and Narratives of solidarity, scale, ...


Narratives on scale an solidarity, twitter analysis and the Cross Talks

The last consortium meeting provided a more than interesting overview of the work of OPPORTUNITIES' various partners.

The glossary

The Horizon 2020 Project “Crises as OPPORTUNITIES: Towards a Level Telling Field on Migration and a New Narrative of Successful Integration” brings together the worlds of NGO work, scholarship and science, advocacy and art. Successful collaboration begins with a shared language which, like all languages, evolves and continuously adapts. Hence the need for a living glossary, which is continuously updated and revised to reflect our progress and start new conversations. Over the last few months, the living glossary of OPPORTUNITIES has been substantially updated and expanded: about 30 entries have been either deleted or revised; more than 20 new entries have been added to the glossary.

We believe that interdisciplinarity works best when all contributors agree on key concepts. The terms and definitions provided here establish common ground across disciplines, thus paving the way for the fruitful dialogue we seek to initiate on local, national, and transnational levels. The joint effort of contributors from several teams, on the one hand, ensures terminological and conceptual coherence across not only our theoretical approaches, but also the qualitative case studies and quantitative research conducted in OPPORTUNITIES. On the other hand, our glossary facilitates communication between the academic side of the project and the fieldwork conducted by NGOs, uniting our teams working from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, and Senegal.

The glossary includes key terms from discourses on migration, integration, and narrative that relate to the findings of scientific and scholarly work carried out in OPPORTUNITIES. It comes in two forms: a PDF version which can be downloaded from our website, and an online version which always includes the latest versions and additions. Please feel free to browse through the entries. Needless to say, we always appreciate suggestions, comments, and feedback.

New Working Papers on the Narrative Ecology of Migration in the European Public Sphere

 The WP5 team has completed a first draft of articles for a special issue of DIEGESIS, an open access journal for interdisciplinary narrative research. The articles explore how migration is narrated in the media and public discourse of four EU countries (Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy), as well as within the African diaspora in Germany. The articles build on an innovative combination of methods and concepts from the humanities (particularly literary studies and narratology) and the social sciences (discourse analysis). The approach is comparative on two levels: first, it highlights national differences in how media discourse frames migration, looking at how the "narrative ecology" is influenced by the specificities of each country's media and political landscape. Second, many of the articles contrast narratives arising around the 2015 migration "crisis" with those inspired by the migrant movements resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The analysis reveals how the narrative of crisis in 2015 gave way to a narrative of solidarity in 2022 and explores the factors underlying this shift through the lens of concepts that include framing, scale, and counter-narrative. Taken as a whole, the articles examine the ways in which media narratives fail to come to terms with the complexity of migration, but also point to concrete rhetorical and narrative strategies that can be used to overcome these limitations. 

The tweets: polarization

Sercan Kiyan from KUL (Belgium) presented a more than interesting study about million tweets on migration fromp Syria and from Ukraine.

His study delves into the digital discourse surrounding refugee narratives, with a comparative lens focused on Italy, Germany, and Austria and two refugee events: the Syrian and Ukrainian ones. Our analysis encompasses about a million tweets, Through Social Network Analysis, we disclose the structural underpinnings of communication networks, revealing intriguing patterns of polarization. The research underscores the prominence of anti-refugee activity on the networks, even though they constitute a minority. This can indicate a heightened potential for their messages to spread due to the algorithmic recommendation systems. Moreover, we observe a significant collaboration between anti-migrant users from different countries. On the other hand, pro-migrant or neutral users come from various groups and form bridges between themselves and different interest groups. A corpus linguistic analysis of tweets also highlights the polarized online communication and main concerns related to these two events. Additionally, our findings emphasize the necessity for balanced online discourse regarding migration, offering key insights for NGOs, policymakers, and media institutions striving to foster inclusive public communication.

A constructive method: the Cross Talks

Michel Debruyne gave an overview of the different Cross Talks held in the 9 participating countries. The overall evaluation was very clear: the Cross Talks methodology is a promising one that brings people together and invites dialogue on an honest basis. More on this methodolgy in the following newsletter.

Various documents can be found on the resources page