Crises as Opportunities: towards a Level Telling Field on Migration and a New Narrative of Successful Integration

February 2021 to February 2025
narrative on migration
European discourses
migration debates
University of Ghana (Ghana)
Université Gaston Berger De Saint Louis (Senegal)
Research fields
Languages and Literatures
Law and Political Science

OPPORTUNITIES starts from the assumption that the narrative framing of the humanitarian catastrophe as a security threat and crisis to be overcome through migration control and management has – against its original intentions and unpredicted by most stakeholders – accelerated European disintegration. Our ambition is to put a more inclusive narrative on migration on the political and societal agenda by acknowledging that every crisis is also an opportunity. We thus reconceptualize the narrative of crisis which has dominated European discourses since the refugee wave of 2015/2016 as a chance to revisit foundational principles of migration debates, to create new knowledge on the impact of narratives, and to initiate forward-looking narrative strategies which allow us to come to terms with a world in flux. Rethinking crisis as an opportunity for change, progress, and improvement, we believe, will serve the project of building a more inclusive, diverse, and gender-equal Europe.

Following the European Agenda for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals (2011), OPPORTUNITIES proposes a new narrative of migration and immigration which moves towards a more successful integration of migrants as it redirects attention from the disadvantages to the benefits of migration. To achieve this aim, our project introduces what we call “Cross Talks” – a new, experimental methodology which seeks to combine the competences of migrants, citizens, and other stakeholders to form collaborative stories of migrant experiences that reflect the various perspectives of their diverse storytellers.

In order to reach a broader public, OPPORTUNITIES will translate its innovative critical interventions and engagement with dominant discourses of migration into art-based formats (e.g. short film productions or small art exhibitions) that will be promoted on regional and local levels. The overall results of the project will be adapted into a touring theatre production that will be transnationally performed by KVS Brussels, a leading European theatre company.