Around the world, refugees, asylum seekers, and undocumented folks are suffering from the social, economic, political, and health effects of COVID-19. In order to respond to this pandemic as engaged scholars, the researchers of the “Engaged Scholarship and Narratives of Change”-project have set up a new project to address the challenges and resilience of refugees during COVID-19.
This project, called “Scholarship for Change”, is an expression of engaged scholarship, an effort to practice solidarity during the pandemic. It entails taking time to build spaces of (online) dialogue with refugee communities, with an eye towards forming long-term relationships of reciprocity throughout, and (hopefully), post- COVID-19. Scholarship for Change is divided in three sub-projects that are each focused on a specific context of the overarching “Engaged Scholarship and Narratives of Change”-project: Art for Change (The Netherlands), Food for Change (South Africa), and Education for Change (The United States of America).
Through Art for Change, we try to find a way (and learn more about how) to show solidarity with LGBTQ+ artists with a forced migration background through engaged scholarship in times of a pandemic. Due to COVID-19 (and measures taken to contain it), these artists are dealing with uncertainties, anxieties and separation from their communities and loved ones. Additionally, seeing that most artistic assignments and events have been cancelled, some experience a loss of income.
Our first contribution, “The Voice of the Queer”, has been made by Sadiqa, a queer artist from Morocco. Listen now to the song they made for our project on the website of the “Engaged Scholarship and Narratives of Change”-project: