My thesis project is now published, and it’s an open resource for everyone to read, refer to and discuss: Storytelling for intercultural dialogue: experience design with unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan. Using theoretical basis of decolonising and feminist theories, this project was developed as a facilitated codesign process, where the participants -a team of friends from Afghanistan and Sweden, created together a design concept for selling and sharing bolani, a kind of flatbread from Afghanistan, in order to prompt solidarity and empathy from equality, and to create their own possibilities to stay in Sweden.
This project is an attempt to bring together design and activism, where I reflect over the roles of the designer as a facilitator-listener, the role of the participants as codesigners-storytellers and the main purpose of the design as an object for democratic conversation.It was such a rich experience to work with it and with the amazing people I met in the way. 💚
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This project explores storytelling tools for the collaborative work with persons in vulnerable situation, in this case, a group of unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan, living in Umeå, Sweden. The concept presented is the prototype of an eating experience, BAHAM bolani: An idea for a social company where the participants are active into creating their own possibilities to stay in Sweden.
With their own stories, they fill in the gap of how unaccompanied minors and asylum seekers are depicted in the dominant narrative. It is them providing meaning to the design concept.
The theoretical approach is from a decolonising and feminist point of view, with collaborative design methods. In the discussion, I debate the need of more listening tools for the design community based on these theories, because they allow the designer to challenge their own cultural assumptions, and meet the participants in a more humble and equal way, especially when working with persons in vulnerable situations.