Undocumented in Ireland old

Visualising Migrant Voices: Co-Creative Documentary and the Politics of Listening

The participants of this project created a community of practice through small and large acts of boundary crossing, bravery, generosity and trust, all while dealing with not only the demands of every day life but also the uncertainties and fears of living without documentation. For five months–from summer to winter in 2007–participants came together to share stories, critically discuss concepts and images, individually craft and collectively produce the final pieces.

Through the ongoing development of a purposeful community of practice, the ideas, emotions and images shaping these digital stories emerged. While guiding this process, I observed how public spaces for reflection, dialogue, craft and creation are cherished, necessary and rare. I vividly recall the intimate details of the workshop, the unspoken moments we collectively negotiated as a community of learners and practitioners: the scent of bleach and washing powder as Lyubov rushed into class after work, or the tenacious burn marks around Zaman’s forearms and wrists –the physical sign of his labor as an Indian food chef. I recollect Edwina arriving with tea biscuits and chocolate treats, and Abdul sharing Tupperware containers full of home-cooked food for breaking fast during Ramadan. I remember participants arriving early in the evening and later in the night the university porters patiently asking us, once again, to please leave the building so they could lock up and go home. We were often the very last ones out of the building. Not only did Zaman, Lyubov, Edwina and Abdul access their ability to tell stories visually and voice themselves multi-modally, but they also inspired me with their sense of possibility, hope, and urgency to be heard and to affect change.

Undocumented in Ireland: Our Stories
Director, Researcher and Workshop Facilitator – Darcy Alexandra
Executive Producers – Aine O’Brien, Alan Grossman
Post Production Supervisor – Aodán O’Coileáin
Workshop Contributors and Insructors – Darcy Alexandra, Aodán O’Coileáin, Siobhán Twomey, Veronica Vierin
Collaborating Agency Coordinators: Bill Aboum, Maeve Burke, Jacqueline Healy, Helen Lowry, Edel McGinley, Delphine O’Keefe
Funded by the Forum on Migration and Communication, in partnership with Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI)