When I was started searching for my final project I was almost convinced that I wanted to create something for my archives data I have gathered back in 2015, when Europe has started to host millions of Syrian Refugees because of the Syrian civil war trying to seek for an asylum in European countries and at the same time face adversity, hardships and real-life tragedy. Being an active member in a nonprofit organization in Lesvos island, Greece, the biggest hosting place for all those people, I managed to collect precious data like useful evidences. Images, diaries by activists, media news, publishers and writers, which I would love to demonstrate them online.
My plan is to create an innovative project using digital humanities practices and methods with ultimate goal to build a very useful tool accessed by anyone who is interested. I know that Internet is full of online videos, interview, and hot titles about European refugee crisis. But I think the most direct way to understand deeper the material of the experience of forced and undocumented migration today, is only if you can see yourself prototypes, original evidences, and undocumented interviews from children pregnant and elderly being in the detection centers and camps. Then you can see a clearer explanation about what happened there.
My immediate question was can such a multi-dimensional project be completed within semester? Of course not. So how can I break up the project? Trying to come up with a project that fits into a student’s semester timeline forced me to rethink a shorter scope for the project. Instead of document all this materiality form scratch, I would focus on the most distinguished testimonials and then try to display them into a map, by showing some of the hot journeys of those people starting their long-lasting route from their origin country until reaching the first hosting country in Europe along with their experience actual life at the camps in Greece.
So viewing the problem of the asylum seekers in Europe more though a humanitarian point of view I will endeavor to create a narrative story backwards, beginning from the places the crisis actually sprang out. I believe that for different reasons up until this point, the sources of information have been disorientating in the sense that they failed to explain. I hope that this project at the end of the semester will combine an archival preservation of those files by introducing a new type of social activism and hopefully, will make the public opinion more enlightened, tolerant and compassionate.