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#RethinkPopulism video screening and discussion with MigrationMatters

Updated: Dec 22, 2019


MigrationMatters Co-founders, Kelly Miller and Sophia Burton, speaking to an audience of EMMIR students and civil society in Oldenburg, Germany.

On Thursday 14 November, EMMIR held a video screening of the #RethinkPopulism video series of MigrationMatters, e.V. at the Schlaues Haus, Oldenburg. The event was attended by an international audience composed of EMMIR students, alumni, and staff, local civil society, and local residents, both Germans and non-Germans. Sophia Burton, Kelly Miller, and Bernadette Klausberger from MigrationMatters presented the project and talked about how it was conceptualized, produced, and disseminated. The event was also covered by local radio and TV outlet, Oldenburg Eins.

Attendees discuss some questions about populism
One of the key takeaways from the discussions, was that populism does not have an ideology, but populism can be infused with ideologies from different sides of the political spectrum.

The videos prompted a discussion about the definition of populism and populist authoritarianism. Different examples of populist leaders from all over the world (such as in Brasil, USA, Hungary, Italy, Philippines, etc.) were discussed among the audience.


One of the key takeaways from the discussion is that, populism does not have an ideology, but populism can be infused with ideologies from different parts of the political spectrum. Furthermore, the relationship between migration—particularly immigration in Germany and Europe—and populism was debated and examined with participants giving nuanced perspectives based on their interests and backgrounds.

Bernadette Klausberger (right) from MigrationMatters speaking with Anne and Katharina from the local chapter of Seebrücke, a social movement around Germany.
More than that, their answers also emphasise another key term that was discussed in the event: the moveable middle.

The #RethinkPopulism video series was well-received by the audience. However, they also asked key questions about the impact of the project and the question of how to engage with general populations and audiences who oppose the message and goals of the series. MigrationMatters brilliantly answered such questions by pointing out that their videos and their projects target particular groups of audiences. More than that, their answers also emphasise another key term that was discussed in the event: the moveable middle. It reiterates that most communication campaigns and strategies today are targeted to this moveable middle, with the goal of transforming their ideas and bring them to the sides.


EMMIR would like to thank the MigrationMatters team and Advocate Europe for this event.

Watch the video from our event here:


and watch the coverage from Radio Globale:


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EMMIR is a 2-year Erasmus Mundus master's degree in Migration and Intercultural Relations run by a consortium of 7 partner institutions in Europe and Africa. 

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Last website update: July 2020