This project aims to make European broadcasters, policy-makers, children’s advocacy groups and content producers aware of the urgent, unprecedented, information and entertainment needs shared by hundreds of thousands of young children who have recently fled to Europe from Arab countries and European-born children who have watched them arrive.
Thousands of Arabic-speaking families, most of them from Syria and Iraq, have taken up residence in Germany and Sweden in the last two years, while hundreds of unaccompanied refugee children have found homes in these countries and the UK. While some broadcasters have responded to the challenge by providing adult news services in Arabic and Arabic subtitles for other items, provision for children also needs attention.
This research project has developed from a previous research project, Orientations in the Development of Pan-Arab Television for Children, which conducted three years’ research in Arabic-speaking countries.
This research has shown how crucial it is for young refugee and migrant children to see themselves truthfully represented on European screens at a time when they and their parents are likely to be feeling disoriented and homesick. Yet practitioners and NGOs working towards that representation need to know more about the cultural and social context of the countries from which these families and children have fled.
This follow-on project seeks to explore how imaginatively produced screen content for young children could fill worrying gaps in what is currently available to children on all sides of forced migration flows at a time when they may struggle to make sense of the new environment in which they find themselves.
These workshops aim to facilitate discussion and exchange between European practitioners who regulate, commission, fund, produce or comment on children’s content and Arab expert practitioners with experience of children’s media.
In this way, the project seeks to help European stakeholders better understand the information and entertainment needs of Arabic-speaking children, many of whom are struggling to make sense of the troubling and often chaotic environment they have witnessed. Our research seeks to explore how screen media for Arab-speaking migrant and refugee children can contribute values and practices that promote education, social diversity, and gender equality.
This project is funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).