London Symposium Briefing: Invisible Children: Children's Media, Diversity and Forced Migration (14 September 2018)

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The Symposium that forms the subject of this briefing was the last event in a year-long project funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under the title ‘Children’s Screen Media in an Era of Forced Migration: Facilitating Arab-European Dialogue’.

The project, part of the AHRC’s Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement, was intended to engage stakeholders in the field of children’s screen media in discussions about representations of and for children from non-European backgrounds, including Arab countries such as Syria and Iraq, who have recently arrived in Europe through forced migration. Dialogues took place through three workshops, in Manchester, Copenhagen and Munich; they have been recorded in a briefing report for each one1 and summarised in the Project Report to Stakeholders.

The one-day end-of-project Symposium, also intended to promote dialogue, followed a different format from the workshops. Whereas participants in the latter all watched and discussed clips from relevant screen content selected by the project leaders, the Symposium consisted of five panels, involving a total of 24 panelists and five chairs. The first was an introductory session, at which the project team reviewed the workshops and their outcomes and presented the Project Report to Stakeholders summarising the workshop discussions.

Panelists on Session 2, representing broadcasters, diversity consultants and advocates for quality in children’s television, assessed advances and setbacks in representations of diversity in children’s content in the UK, Europe and further afield. In Session 3, early career scholars of Arab heritage presented findings about media treatments of flight, trauma, asylum and immigrant communities, as well as education initiatives for refugee children. This was followed by a session in which producers and commissioning editors analysed the processes and challenges behind commissioning, producing and distributing screen content that adequately reflects demographic changes. In the final session, entitled ‘Next Steps’, panelists identified regional and global events and exchanges that could contribute to sustaining conversations about diversity in children’s media beyond the end of the project.

This briefing provides an overview of topics that emerged during the five sessions. As such it also forms part of a consolidated report, entitled Children’s Screen Content in an Era of Forced Migration, which brings together all five publications produced as a result of the project.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherKing's College London
Commissioning bodyAHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
EventInvisible Children: Children's Media, Diversity and Forced Migration - King's College London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Sept 201814 Sept 2018


  • Children
  • Arab
  • European
  • dialogue
  • Forced Migration
  • Refugees
  • Diversity
  • Television
  • Media concentration


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