Lecture: ReURTV | The Representation of Ukrainian Refugees on Dutch TV
Against the background of the recent academic discussions on media representations of refugees and migrants, this research project by Andrea Meuzelaar (UvA) investigates the representation of Ukrainian refugees in Dutch news and current affairs programmes.
During this lecture, Andrea Meuzelaar will present her work-in-progress of her CLARIAH research project, ReURTV. For this project, Meuzelaar uses the CLARIAH Media Suite functionalities to analyse the representation of Ukrainian refugees in news, talk shows and current affairs programmes available in the Sound and Vision Archive.
In her project, Meuzelaar explores how television discourse produces an ethics of care and solidarity predicated on a politics of representation that minimises cultural and religious differences and celebrates proximity and sameness of ‘us’ and ‘them’. The current coverage of Ukrainian refugees shifts away from the threat and securitisation frame often used to cover the 2015 ‘refugee crisis’. Academic research has shown that refugees were narrowly framed as either victims, without agency and voice, or as perpetrators, who were hostile and threatening to Europe, and that the coverage shifted between the theme of humanitarianism and securitisation (e.g. Georgiou 2017, Chouliaraki and Stolic 2017).
While the current coverage of Ukrainian refugees has similarities to what Georgiou has called ‘ecstatic humanitarianism’, the coverage lacks the securitisation frame (Georgiou 2017). Rather than being depicted as threatening outsiders, Ukrainian refugees are portrayed as sharing the same core values as ‘us’: they are depicted as blond and blue-eyed Europeans who are Christian, family-oriented, who bring economic benefit, who embody respectable citizenship, and who therefore deserve our solidarity, hospitality and care.
During this lecture, Meuzelaar analyses the thematic patterns of television coverage, the discourses of race, class and gender, the imagination of the Dutch nation, and the visual repertoires of the coverage. Finally, she argues that Dutch television coverage of Ukrainian refugees assumes the neoliberal trope of the economic value of citizenship, reconfirms the (populist) myth of a white Europe, and ultimately limits our sense of care and responsibility to those others who fit the cultural norms of the West.
Read more about the ReURTV project here.
This lecture will be presented by: