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Network : Firewall - Border Crossings and Leaving Home

>Read the report | Photos from the event | Network:Firewall downloads

network firewallWe've been thinking about borders, the free movement of capital, the restricted movement of people for some time now, so it was good when we were asked to do something for Refugee Week 2003.

In collaboration with 11 local refugees and asylum seekers we made a video short and web installation where people could tell their stories and myths could be busted. If empathy/understanding is increased then even better...

We set up a temporary media lab (i.e a video camera and a linux computer;-) where Refugee Action are based in Nechells, Birmingham and interviewed / discussed the issues with a variety of different people from a variety of different circumstances. Questions ranged from the general ( 1>Tell us a bit about yourself, 2> What was it like at home? ) to the more specific ( 7) What do you think of the way the media reports asylum?)

inside the tent

After getting a lot of good footage we created the video short (thanks to the facilities of Vivid.org.uk) and designed the interactive web element (it basically contains text interviews with each person, video clips, FAQ's on misconceptions, and world map of reasons for migration). The other part of the project was to create some visuals, so our interior-designer-eco-dude created some excellent display boards on which we could stencil and stick stuff like our mind map tracking the relationship between Capital, Dictators, Arms Deals and People. As well as this we created a set of 12 'Mythbuster' cards that people could take away, which provided snappy answers to media lies on asylum.

After scavenging the equipment we needed for the installation (2 TVs, 1 Video, 4 complete PCs) we installed linux and put the interactive website on them locally (as there were several privacy concerns at potentially sensitive material existing online)

We had the tent from 14-16th June in a prime location in the centre of the city , and the response was very good.It was busy, and there were some good 'discussions'.The other tents were good, and the bands on the stage provide a sunny soundtrack for the 3 very hot days. Monday was kids day, which was very hectic. Lots of paint, paper, and Weapons of Mass Distraction stencils.

We want to put a modified form of the web element actually online, and there's definite potential for it all to exist as a CD-Rom, with printed mythbuster cards and so on.There's also the potential of some interesting collaborations, and some possibility of spreading lowtech too :-)

>Read the report | Photos from the event | Network:Firewall downloads