Interview by: Ana Cristina Pereira and Rita Santos
Edited by: Camilla Morello
Abstract by: Laura Marquesan
Language editing by: Daniela S. Jorge Ayoub
Este podcast faz parte da série de 28 podcasts realizados sobre o caso português e italiano no âmbito do projeto de investigação de 36 meses (2018-2021) (De)Othering: Desconstruindo o Risco e a Alteridade: guiões hegemónicos e contra-narrativas sobre migrantes/refugiados e “Outros internos” nas paisagens mediáticas em Portugal e na Europa, que pretendeu analisar criticamente representações mediáticas de migrantes, refugiados e “outros internos” em Portugal e na Europa, mapeando as suas interconexões com narrativas produzidas no domínio da segurança e no quadro da Guerra ao Terrorismo. O seu foco, uma análise de Portugal à luz de estudos de caso europeus profundamente afetados por ameaças terroristas (Reino Unido e França) e por fluxos migratórios/de refugiados (Itália e Alemanha), pretende investigar a construção de narrativas transnacionais de risco que permeiam a Europa independentemente da sua exposição “diferenciada”.
O projeto foi financiado pelo pelo FEDER – Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional através do COMPETE 2020 – Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI) e por fundos nacionais através da FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Referencia Projeto: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029997)
----- English Version
This podcast is part of a series of 28 podcasts produced on the Portuguese and the Italian cases as outputs of the research undertaken in the 36 months project (2018-2021) (De)Othering: Deconstructing Risk and Otherness: hegemonic scripts and counter-narratives on migrants/refugees and ‘internal Others’ in Portuguese and European mediascapes that sets out to critically examine media representations on migrants, refugees and ‘internal Others’ in Portugal and across Europe while mapping out their interconnections with particular narratives in the field of security and within the War on Terror. Its focus – an analysis of Portugal in the light of other European cases affected by terrorist threats (United Kingdom and France) and by migrant/refugee flows (Italy and Germany) – aims to explore the construction of transnational narratives of risk pervading Europe regardless of the ‘differential’ exposure to them.
The project was funded by FEDER – European Regional Development Fund through the COMPETE 2020 – Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation (POCI), and by Portuguese funds through FCT in the framework of the project 029997 (Reference: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029997).
Evalina Dias is the director of Djass - Associação de Afrodescentes, an organization engaged in the fight against racism in contemporary Portuguese society. She begins this episode talking about how the media represents the racialized population and refugees. From her point of view, Portuguese society had this idea that they were not racist, which was greatly supported by the lack of broadcasting of news related to cases of violence and the lack of equal access and opportunities. Nowadays, with social media, the circulation of news is facilitated and intensified. But apart from that, mainstream media is still very biased in the way it portrays episodes of violence. She mentioned Giovani, the Cabo Verdean student, who was attacked and killed by a group of white Portuguese people in Bragança. The media did not talk about the assault until he died, five days after the attack. On the other hand, the son of a white inspector was assaulted in Lisbon at the same time and became front page of the newspapers on the same day. For Evalina, this demonstrates very explicitly which bodies matter to the media. In addition, a meritocratic discourse is often perpetuated, in which it seems that people do not get to places because they did not want to and not because of structures of white privilege that give different opportunities of access to education and work. In this sense, she points out how the work of Joana Gorjão Henriques was important to break with this monolithic discourse.
Furthermore, Evalina talks a little bit about Djass’s work in the anti-racist training of children and educators and how important this is to break with the colonial and racist imagination, considering that school manuals have remained the same since the Estado Novo. She points out how these formative processes are essential, with a view to the difference between good practice on paper and in practice. In this sense, an active formation is more important. In the case of the media, an anti-racist training that trains media professionals in how to deal with certain themes would be crucial. For example, in her opinion, while ago talking about Syrian refugees was a hot topic, no one in the media seemed paid any attention to the refugees from Congo or from several other African countries that were also coming to Europe.
To conclude, she discusses the media narrative about Covid-19 and the quarantine. Often the media did not focus on why some people had to keep going to work, using public transportation, and placed the responsibility precisely on them for the increase in cases in capitals such as Lisbon, ignoring the precarious conditions of work and housing to which many people are subjected, many of them racialized people, migrants and refugees.