Diversity, perspectives and storytelling: Using video to change minds about migration in the Netherlands

Published on
August 9, 2019

Tourism is widely recognised for its power to construct and maintain national identity claims. Yet it also has significant potential to challenge, complicate and shift dominant discourse by bringing people into contact that otherwise might have never been and by exposing them to diverse perspectives on the world around them.

Given tourism’s transformative potential and the high travel rates of the Dutch population, our team set out to create an educational tool for social inclusion that takes the form of a travel guidebook: Roots Guide (RG). RG is a unique interactive, educational storytelling vehicle designed to enable readers to reflect on and re-evaluate dominant, essentialised and worn-out narratives about what and who is 'typically Dutch' and to de-centre and enrich them with more contemporary and realistic framings of life in the Netherlands today. It does this by featuring personal stories and travel tips from over 50 contributors with intra- and international migration backgrounds, the voices and experiences of whom have been traditionally un(der)represented and/or exoticised in conventional guidebooks.

We are currently looking for a student who will explore the transformational educational approaches that underpin Roots Guide in order to create a set of 30-second-long video clips. These videos clips will complement the Roots Guide travel guidebook, focussing on the following themes: 1) key issues and messages drawn from the contributors’ stories that are featured in the Roots Guide; 2) why the contributors wanted to be part of the Roots Guide project; and 3) contributors’ connections to places that are meaningful to them in the Netherlands.

The student will also write a brief report that includes a solid rationale underpinned by academic literature for why the student has developed his/her specific approach. This should include consideration of how online video is currently being used by different kinds of social actors in order to bring about societal change as well as a review of the specific video-based narrative and visual techniques used by people advocating for opposite views on different significant political issues today.

We are looking for students competent in qualitative methods and ethics, video production and editing, and in social media strategy. They also should be able to speak Dutch and English fluently, given that they will be engaging with the Roots Guide collaborators. Ideally they would have their own audio and video recording and editing equipment and software. We would like to have an internship student working on this project in the 2019-2020 academic year, ideally in the first half (starting September 2019). The internship would be full-time.

Contacts and supervision:
Ingi Mehus, Roots Guide project leader.
Meghann Ormond, Cultural Geography Group.