Ok, so I have developed the idea for my research project, now to assemble it! I have decided to divide the project into 4 parts: four focus points.
Part 1 will be on how refugees engage with cyberculture. This will include how they map & document their experiences. Example cases I will be researching: refugees paving the way for other refugees by sharing photos/GPS locations of their migration path on social media and Google Maps censoring access to viewing refugee housing centres. I will also look at how refugees interact with cyberculture to share their experiences within institutions/controlled environments (i.e. detention centres, camps and island resettlements). Examples: Free the children NAURU and footage released of a hunger strike from within Manus Island detention centre.
Part 2 will be a focus on those participating in cyberculture to help refugees. This can range from direct involvement with refugees to awareness campaigns. I will be focusing on the strengths and limitations of these involvements. Examples: volunteers providing free wifi and phone charging, ‘Techfugees’ hackathon, Airbnb for refugees, ‘Refugees Welcome‘, the Virtual Reality Documentary ‘Clouds Over Sidra‘, hashtag use on Twitter and community groups, such as SCARF.
Part 3 will be a focus on the monitoring/controlled movement of refugees. Examples: current and future use of “apps, biometrics and smart cards” to track/register refugees, drone surveillance of borders.
Part 4 will be a focus on representations v realities of refugee experiences. Things to consider: conflicting statistics on refugee demographics, problematic definition of what constitutes a refugee and the ramifications that arise from this, language used (e.g. refugees labelled as migrants), the ‘protection paradox‘ and the phenomena of ‘othering’. I will draw on the cyberculture aspects from the previous 3 parts of this project and reflect on the role it plays in the construction of representations and exposure of realities.
In terms of presenting my research, I will be making a four-part Youtube series as videos can be very direct and engaging. The visualisation of refugee experiences is also important to connect audiences with realities over representations. I’m aiming to make the videos for each part between 3-5 minutes.
*This post has been altered from 5 focus points to 4, following consultation with Chris.
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