Does not the idea of taking statements from persons who had experiences as refugees or similar, reduce those people to constructed yet real categories?
Our own motivation is to place special emphasis on the personal, yet expert-like point of view, which is often neglected (see also „About the statements“). But in doing so, we also use the category „refugee“ and thereby give it authority, even if the long term goal is to abolish these categories.
Especially while taking statements or on the search for new ones, there is the threat to reduce persons to their experiences as refugees. It is also important to be aware if it’s the moment to ask for a statement or not. And when it is asked, the respect for the person and the sensitivity for the situation should always be given.
In this context it seems important to us to suggest the following questions and thoughts. When we approach people whom we don’t know concerning the project, maybe even with the intention to get a new statement, do we not (un)knowingly impose categories and experiences on this person?
Surely, the residence status and experiences with borders cannot be seen. There may be situations where it seems possible to guess, but it is always only clear when spoken.
The question that arises is, in how far we (un)knowingly pursue something like racial profiling or rather „refugee experiences profiling“?
We always try to first explain the project and which group of people we would like to give a statement. The further course of action depends a lot on the expressed reaction of the person who was asked. As already mentioned, every contact should be sensitive and look to perceive the person as such.
Another important question is, which other people might also be included in the project. For example people who fled during or after the second world war within Europe. The conditions then and now of course are different but there seem to be similarities. So we would also like to give a platform to european citizens if it would be appropriate and not exclude this possibility from the start.
As already mentioned the rubric „About our views“ we humans are not free from discriminating and categorizing thoughts. Besides, the views of each person are limited by their reality.
We still want to refine ourselves and keep on asking what, how and why we do certain things or not. This also includes for example the project as such.
These questions and thoughts should form a constant, dynamic process. We invite you all dearly to share your suggestions, criticisms and ideas.