Crises as opportunities. Towards a level telling field on migration and a new narrative of successful integration

Begin - Einde 
2022 - 2022 (lopend)



The humanitarian tragedy of 2015-16 fuelled anti-European sentiment, allowing populists to successfully reframe the refugee crisis as a crisis of Europe itself. OPPORTUNITIES shows how we can move beyond this current impasse by creating a forward-looking and productive debate grounded in new principles for a fair dialogue on immigration and successful integration. These new principles form what we call a level telling field: Adopting the economic metaphor of the “level playing field” (i.e. “fair play” in the single market), we propose, apply, evaluate, and advocate “fair storytelling” in the migration debate. Based on the principle of multi-perspectivity, an ethics of listening, and a politics of recognition, this new debate strategically unites African countries of origin and transit with European countries of arrival and destination. Our collaboration establishes level telling fields on local levels, initiating encounters and conversations among migrants, citizens, and stakeholders. These “cross-talk” experiments, creating and re-enacting experiential narratives of migration and integration in local communities, build on, and are supported by, novel theoretical concepts as well as qualitative and quantitative research on national and transnational migration discourses in media. We seek in this way to demonstrate, in both theory and practice, how a reactive mode of crisis management can be transformed into a shared new narrative of integration, using the potential of stories to foster cross-cultural understanding. OPPORTUNITIES uses an innovative dissemination strategy which includes policy recommendations promoting level telling field rules and a touring stage production by a leading European theatre company to re-open a fair dialogue on migration. In the short term, this will allow for a new consensus to merge in local conversations; in the long run, it will have a significant and lasting impact on how we envision opinionmaking in the European public sphere.




Externe medewerkers

Roy Sommer