Humanizing Deportation: A Digital Storytelling Archive

Robert Irwin
UC Davis

Humanizing Deportation is a digital storytelling (community based participatory digital media) project that provides a public platform for people wishing to share personal stories regarding deportation in an open access bilingual audiovisual format.

In the current atmosphere of highly charged debate on immigration and deportation, there is little information, whether in political discourse or popular media, regarding the lived experience of forced repatriation. This project, focused on US deportations and removals of Mexicans (57% of the national total in 2017), communicates a more authentic, robust and nuanced idea of the many profiles of people being affected by forced repatriation, and the human consequences of the current crisis of mass human displacement. The project involves: 1) turning our website into a searchable database in order to facilitate its use in both teaching and research; 2) facilitating public diffusion to community groups across California; 3) staging a working meeting to plan collaborative academic publications based on our fieldwork and archive; 4) permitting graduate student participation in 2018 fieldwork in Mexico as we week to double the size of the database and significantly increase its scope.