• 11.23.16

    Radio Helps Fast Company Talk about Immigration

    Many Americans are just a day away from celebrating the first major recorded immigration to the United States. Thanksgiving is a holiday that marks a treaty, in some respects, between the Native Americans that lived on this land and the European refugees escaping persecution. They broke bread together and so we celebrate the peace that existed in that meal with our own meals of bounty stacked with dishes we imagine the Pilgrims and Native Americans ate all those hundreds of years ago. Today, all over the world, there are new kinds of Pilgrims in many different places looking to, essentially, break bread. Fast Company has published a series of investigations on how the influx of war escaping refugees are changing their communities all over the world. Fast Company invited Radio to help them visualize these changes and issues in a way that helps us understand them and place them in useful contexts.

    The influx of immigration has inspired a lot of pushback, but it has also inspired solutions to real problems like housing and the job market. These have shifted the way many understand who refugees are and what they have to offer their new homes. Each of Fast Company’s pieces explores a different aspect and Radio’s illustrations bring them to life. One piece asks how to make it in America as a refugee and features a refugee camp of tents set up to emulate the American flag. Another pictures a pie graph of citizens who support refugees as being an umbrella to protect a huddled family from the rain. Still another taken on the fact that refugees have largely been treated poorly by many nations but cities have been more effective, and Radio shows us a woman with a head covering being welcomed into a subway car.

    What Radio does is help us understand these issues in concise ways through visual language - even when these issues are not simple. We all need a way into these conversations, especially as they tear across the globe and inspire a new kind of politics. Radio helps us experience them in bites and open our minds and hearts to think about them in ways we might not have thought about them before. Plus, we should mention, the illustrations are beautiful.


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