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Migration Area at the Opinion Festival: is there a migration crisis or not?

12. August 2016 - 13:18

The whole day tomorrow, 13 August, visitors to the Opinion Festival are invited to take part in discussions on migration, to experience a virtual reality refugee camp and to brainstorm people’s motivations for leaving and returning home.

Starting at 10 in the morning, festival participants get to experience, in virtual reality, life in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp, with a girl named Sidra as their guide; the experience is organised by the Estonian Refugee Council together with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Also at 10 a.m., the Tartu University Centre for Ethics will be launching the interactive game “Discovering Values”, which invites participants to look within.

Two discussions will tackle questions such as: do we actually have a migration crisis, what are the implications and what are our true concerns in relation to migration issues. We will hear from Hanno Pevkur, Uku Särekanno, Anni Säär, Mari-Liis Jakobson, Eero Janson, Tiit Tammaru and Raivo Vare. The discussions will be moderated by Mart Nutt and Marju Lauristin.

The Migration Area will also venture into science and conduct an experiment to test people’s opinions of foreigners and to witness the origination of attitudes. Experts will describe the actual profiles of the immigrants who have arrived in Estonia and discuss why the Estonian people are not that open towards foreigners. The panellists of the discussion moderated by Tarmo Jüristo will be Karmen Maikalu, Aune Valk and David Vseviov. As the day draws to a close, Peter Gornischeff, Ave Lauren, Piret Kärtner and Tõnu Pekk will discuss whether Estonians abroad represent brain drain or are they rather Estonia’s foreign ambassadors.

While the discussions will be held in Estonian, all Migration Area panels will also have simultaneous interpretation into English. The activities organised in the Opinion Festival’s Migration Area form part of the project AMIF2015-14 “Migration Communication and Monitoring”. The project is co funded by the European Union, through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, and the Estonian Ministry of the Interior.

For more on the Migration Area, see here.