In partnership with SFU's school of communication

Displaced Persons


Global wars, neo-liberal capitalism, and environmental crises have forced the displacement of millions of people. Western media and politics has often stoked anti-refugee and Islamophobic sentiment in reaction to these crises, simplifying or erasing the stories of migration from people across the globe.

This track will explore possible outlets and address communication strategies for the extremely complex stories of refugees, and how to ensure that these voices are heard and are able to self represent in the media.


We are especially interested in sessions that:

  • Combat the issues around assimilation and integration in the lived experience of immigration in Canada.
  • Examine the representation of Muslims in Canadian media, perhaps with a focus on Islamophobia in the media coverage of Canada’s agreement to resettle Syrian refugees.
  • Consider the ideas of open borders and freedom of movement and settlement.
  • Challenge right-wing nationalist rhetoric and presents possible ways to effectively combat its popularity.
  • Discuss community initiatives and asylum for refugees who identify as LGBTQ2S+ people.
  • Discuss ways in which we communicate the complicated nature of modern wars and forced migration.
  • Discuss the status of climate change victims and how it differs from refugees, considering how this might impact the language and rhetoric used by the environmental movement.
  • Discuss how the labels of refugee, migrant, stateless person, and immigrant may be used differently in mainstream media and examine the cases where labeling can lead to marginalizing and erasing the stories of groups of refugees globally.
  • Find ways to make sure that refugee stories that fall outside the stereotypical media presentation of refugees receive media attention.
  • Reach out to refugees and refugee communities to participate in storytelling.