In the late summer of 2015, a comparatively large number of Syrian refugees arrived in central Europe in an attempt to escape the conditions of war. Within global media and academia, this phenomenon was often referred to as the European refugee “crisis”; by those critical voices who wanted to counter the narrative of refugees being the problem, it was called “the long summer of migration”. In the face of the contradictory responses of European border securitization as well as the highly divisive rhetoric and discourses surrounding this phenomenon, media coverage on forced migration and the representation of the newly arrived individuals has gained increasing attention. In an effort to promote content created by refugees themselves, a group of German and Austrian filmmakers in Salzburg joined forces with newly arrived refugees, including some who were professional journalists and filmmakers, to co-found the project “refugee.tv”.
In this interview, Ayad Salim, one of the founding members of refugee.tv, talks about the origins, development and purpose of the project.
Ayad Salim is a teacher, journalist and filmmaker. In Iraq, he worked for international media outlets for 19 years. Since January 2015, he has been living in Salzburg, where he co-created the media project refugee.tv. In 2020, he established the cultural association Arabischer Kulturverein in Salzburg to promote cultural exchange between Arabic and Austrian members of society in Salzburg.