Mainstream media’s reporting on migration does not do justice to the lived reality of migrants in Europe. People with a migrant background often do not recognise themselves in the news coverage about them, miss important perspectives or notice some topics are not covered at all. The media makers present at the conference on Actions for Migrating Perspectives in European Media decided to reclaim their stories and started several inspiring media initiatives to make sure their representation is more diverse, unbiased, and anti-racist.

The conference started off with a welcome speech held by Mohamed Bah. He welcomed people with all believes and from all strands of life that are included in the fight for an honest media representation, and those who are willing to listen and learn. Mohamed’s words were followed by a video from the project ‘Re:reframing migrants’, emphasising the importance to change the white norm and to recognise the expertise held by migrant people. Beatrice Duodu, partner of the project from Barcelona, shared three lessons learned: the issue of misrepresentation is an EU wide problem, smaller media outlets can make a real impact and coming together creates hope and makes goals more achievable.

In a panel Ariel Sosa, Gabriela Ramírez, Quinndy Akeju and Esra Karakaya shared how their own media outlets contribute to the proper portrayal of diverse stories. For example, Esra created KARAKAYA TALKS for millennials and Gen Z with a migrant background, because of her frustration with untruthful representation of people with a hijab in the German media landscape. This story was echoed by Sani Ladan during a conversation with Okba Mohammed. He decided to make his podcast, thinking about the wise words his father used to say: “If you are looking for something and can’t find it, do it yourself”.

More in depth conversations were held during the breakout sessions, in which it was possible to talk in a more intimate setting. For instance, during the breakout session on ‘Taking the media into your own hands’, Saied Al-Karim was one of the panelists sharing his experiences. He told the audience his story about being scared while held captive in a Dutch prison at Schiphol for a year. When he met Anat Segal, they created the graphic novel ‘Alle dagen Ui’, about the dark side of the Dutch Asylum system.

The night ended with an energising game show, the “Meme Battle”. During this uplifting closing, two teams went up against each other by coming up with the best captions under a meme, after which the audience could vote for the winner. This game was supported by the DJ skills of Mohamed Bah, which led to the whole audience dancing together after the winner of the evening was announced. Although the meme game was cringy at times due to the brutal reality some memes contained, the audience left excited. Downstairs in the café a lot of guests stayed around to socialise and take a look at the exposition of Barley Tshibanda.

Did you miss the conference? On the programme page you have the opportunity to watch the conference and find all the links to the media outlets from our inspiring partners.