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A special edition of Nyimas Bantaba for Get the Trolls Out! on the Ukraine Crisis

In a second special edition of Nyimas Bantaba for Get The Trolls Out!, show host and CMFE

Board member Nyima Jadama invited Marianna Karakoulaki (Communications Manager at

Media Diversity Institute), Jennifer Kamau (activist from International Women Space Berlin)

and Alexander Gorski (migration lawyer) to discuss double standards in reporting and in

welcoming refugees around Europe.

The war in Ukraine has made double standards toward refugees and migrants once more

apparent. Media narratives have been particularly disappointing. As Angelo Boccato writes,

“Many remarks (…) aim to diminish the experiences of other refugees, by dividing them

between “real” and “false”, pointing out that members of the latter group are supposedly

not fleeing from a conflict and therefore should not be helped. (…) Though it may go

unspoken, underpinning this broadly welcoming attitude [towards Ukrainians] is the fact

that most of the refugees from Ukraine are white and Christian. (…) This discourse takes

many forms, across different countries and sides of the political spectrum, making visible

the pervasiveness and persistence of racism and Islamophobia within European identity.”

Marianna Karakoulaki already sees a shift in narratives about Ukrainian refugees, as in 2015

when public opinion turned from compassion to rejection towards Syrian refugees.

Jennifer Kamau comments on the persistence of anti-black racism on the 10th anniversary

of the Oranienplatz movement, made evident by reactions towards Ukrainian refugees upon

the realization that black refugees were amongst them.

Alexander Gorski, who offers free legal counselling every Wednesday, especially to young

people of colour, sees a chain of discrimination starting when people have to flee (through border controls, profiling, and permits…). The good migrant / bad migrant narratives stem from racism and geopolitical interests and are embedded in international refugee law.

You can find the full recording on YouTube and the ALEX Berlin Mediathek.

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