Project Living in Standby Awarded !

In the frame of WWNA (Why the World Need Anthropologists) event, our Participatory Video project Living in Standby led with women asylum seekers in Red Cross Asylum centers received the first prize in the Social Movement Award category from Applied Anthropology Network from EASA (European Association of Social Anthropologists) !

The status of “asylum seeker” has multi-dimensional implications whose aspects are not always known by outsiders. The struggle is not over when one arrives in Europe and seek for asylum. This stage can be very tuff, especially for women. Within a broader strategy of empowerment by Asylum Seekers Department of the Belgian Red Cross, Visual Exchange has worked with a group of 12 women from various countries and with different languages waiting and hoping for their status in a centre that welcomes victims of gender-based violence (GBV) or with difficult migratory paths.

Grounded on our practice and expertise in Participatory Video and Art Therapy, we have conducted a process of action-research and care with them. Through concrete personal and collective creative actions, they have explored their story, their feelings, and enhanced their own resources, and ultimately deal with past and present experiences of trauma. A process in four main phases that crystallize finally in a collective and transcultural expression form that can be shown outside the group and create new channels of dialogue with the welcome community: a film made by themselves in their own way and with their own words that carry their common struggles, feelings, hopes and needs.