Migrants and Refugees on The Southern Border7 March 2018. From 18:30 | Workshop | Spanish | IEMed, Barcelona
“The solidarity of Spanish civil society woken up in 2015 with the scenes of Syrian refugees trying to cross borders. We have done something wrong as media when such scenes are seen in Ceuta and Melilla for 20 years.”
Patricia Simón, an experienced freelance journalist and co-founder and director until 2013 of Periodismo Humano, talks about the situation of immigrants in Ceuta and Melilla and the role of the media in creating a collective consciousness.
The fences of Ceuta and Melilla are very visual symbols, in which hundreds of millions of euros have been invested, but which in reality only work in order to reinforce the institutional message of defense and security with which the migratory issue is addressed.
For their part, the media “legitimizes” an official discourse that often criminalizes immigrants with an “alarming rise in xenophobic and Islamophobic discourse.” This approach vis-à-vis the Arab and Muslim countries has always focused on conflict and this is transferred to the collective imagination.
In this equation, what is the role of NGOs? And what legal mechanisms does Spain have to deal with immigration?