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"I Am Still Here" – Participatory Production during the Pandemic

Guma, Taulant



During the covid pandemic colleagues from Sociology and Screen and Performance at Edinburgh Napier University collaborated with activist and community researchers to work with asylum seeking people in Glasgow to better understand and document their experiences of temporary accommodation. The research project used audio visual ethnographic methods to collect asylum seekers’ experiences of this time of crisis and to challenge the local authority and service providers in relation to housing provision which suddenly and without warning moved individuals and families from flats into mainly hotel and hostel type premises.

As well as producing reports and direct action, the project produced a short participatory documentary, “I Am Still Here” which was used during the remaining pandemic period and thereafter to raise awareness of the unsuitability of this type of accommodation and also its impact on the welfare of asylum seeking individuals. The film also points to the dehumanisation and marginalisation of asylum seekers within the asylum system, and how this was enacted as part of a broader pattern of behaviour from taxi drivers and hostel cleaners, to the denial of cash payments. All this on top of what were national restrictions on movement and which lasted longer in Glasgow and Scotland than in the rest of the UK.

The paper will discuss the collaborative and participatory process of production in a time of crisis and restriction and highlight some of the challenges and choices faced by the producers working with already vulnerable people.


Guma, T. (2024, September). "I Am Still Here" – Participatory Production during the Pandemic. Presented at MECCSA (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association) 2024, Manchester, UK

Presentation Conference Type Other
Conference Name MECCSA (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association) 2024
Start Date Sep 4, 2024
End Date Sep 6, 2024
Deposit Date Apr 9, 2024
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