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Bringing stories to life through animation

Life on the Move is a stop-motion animation exploring the complex reasons behind migration.
[TINKLING BELLS] [ANIMAL SOUNDS] Even though I was born in Yemen, I was of Somali heritage and was always treated as a foreigner. [ANGRY VOICES]
It’s made me want to volunteer to help refugees. But soon the same kids who had bullied me became refugees themselves. [GUNS FIRING] [BABY CRYING] [LAPPING WATER]
I left with my family, boarding a boat for three nights that was built for 40 but carried 350.
I just worked in a cafe with my father. And that’s where I met my husband. He came in for an Americano and left with my heart.
After 25 years in Finland, I decided to return home. [ROARING AIRPLANE ENGINE]
[CHATTERING VOICES] I opened a dialysis clinic that serves my whole country and region.
Some of my generation still don’t feel they belong in Europe and want to return home. [THUNDER]
Life in my village was getting critically hard, so we left. [WIND CHIMES] Then one night, my eldest son disappeared. [GURGLING WATER] [WIND CHIMES] A smart phone is why he left. His friends in Europe sent beautiful pictures. I’m glad I don’t own a smartphone. If I did the Libyan kidnappers who took my son would send videos of them hurting him. I could not live seeing that. [TRAIN BELLS]
As a single mum I struggled to bring up my kids and being a minority wasn’t easy. So I decided to return to my motherland.
There are many reasons migrants move and many different destinations worldwide. Migration is not a problem unless it is unsafe or forced. [GUNS FIRING]
[BABY CRYING] In fact human movement has occurred throughout history, showing our determination to thrive. To find out more about innovative research in migration and displacement studies, or to learn how this animation was produced, visit our website. You can also join the conversation on Twitter.

Animations can be a particularly powerful way to bring stories to life for students. As we introduce on this course, data and storytelling are important to reframing and reproducing critical and empathetic narratives around migration.

Life On The Move, this RIFA award-winning stop-motion video, has been produced by The London International Development Centre Migration Leadership Team (LIDC-MLT) at SOAS, in collaboration with BAFTA-nominated director Osbert Parker and PositiveNegatives.

Watch the video and in the comments section add your reflections on the following statements:

  1. Love and human experience are overlooked in migration teaching and learning.
  2. It is difficult to explore love and relationships as drivers of migration.
  3. Storytelling and arts are important to changing narratives and assumptions on migration.
  4. Engaging with data and facts will challenge assumptions on migration.
  5. Empathy is important to teaching and learning migration in my classroom.

Special thanks to the LIDC-MLT for permission to feature the Life On The Move in this course. The LIDC-MLT is jointly funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) and Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

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Teaching Migration Through Data and Storytelling

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