This multimedia project is based on my capstone thesis topic for the M.A. degree at CEU. The topic deals with the issues surrounding ‘passport privilege’ and the passport-based discrimination against third-country nationals. I believe that posing different requirements to individuals based on their nationality amounts to discrimination. However, the current political affairs of the world tend to disregard this issue. For instance, citizens of developing countries enjoy some privileges, namely - less restrictive movement across borders and easier procedures for obtaining work permits. On the other hand, third-country nationals have to go through different, more complicated processes. Such political borders and attitudes towards third-country nationals work against the ongoing process of globalization and it is counterproductive for establishing an open society where human rights are protected universally. While my capstone thesis explores the topic through discussing the issues related to freedom of movement and race discrimination, my capstone project is designed to serve as a multimedia supplement that would highlight this issue to wider audiences through storytelling and artistic expression.
My plan for the project is to produce audio-based stories of individuals who have been discriminated against due to their nationality. Therefore, posters with abstract designs will be printed out with a barcode linking to the podcast and shared in the vicinity of the international organizations in Vienna, Austria, to spread the awareness about the discrimination that third-country nationals experience and that deprives them of many opportunities.
I believe that media platforms play a crucial role for society to understand each other. I would call it ‘normalizing the polluted environment’. We notice that the recent tv-shows, movies or podcasts that either give leading roles to the undermined & underrepresented communities or touch upon topics that promote critical thinking and a better understanding of the diversity of the world - these media products ‘normalized’ our perception of a human being. We slowly start to treat each other equally regardless of our differences. That is why I think that these technologies, particularly digital media, are important tools to understand what it means to be human. Not only digital media but other forms of communication and artistic expression have shaped societies. For instance, Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Nina Simone’s music amplified the substance of the Civil Rights movement through storytelling, art and intimate artistic connections. Artistic freedom speaks volumes because it is the product of human creativity and when it is mixed with purposeful storytelling, then it produces social effects that I believe are capable of sharing our shared future.