How to Talk to the World Through Free Translation Apps
The Trump administration recently issued an Executive Order barring most non-immigrant visitors from seven countries from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days. The order seems a simple case of restricted free speech, but it involves a group of professions that the Constitution itself recognizes as akin to religious liberty.
So how can we talk about the ways in which non-immigrant immigration services are disrupted when the U.S. government not only keeps outsiders out, but restricts the flow of information from those who do gain entry to the U.S.?
As part of the Open State Fellowship, we recently convened a group of attorneys who represent immigrant detainees in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. The participants were from diverse backgrounds and included people from Bolivia, Vietnam, Jordan, Iran, the Republic of the Congo, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Kenya, Taiwan, Portugal, Fiji, Lebanon, France, the Republic of the Congo, India, Sweden, the United States, Israel, Iran, and Zambia. For our group of lawyers, all refugees or immigrants that enter the U.S. will be affected by the executive order.
In line with our commitment to free information, we also asked the participants for suggestions about how they might use tools such as Facebook Messenger and Facebook Messenger Translator in collaboration with civil-rights organizations to alert interested parties to all the ways in which the executive order will change their clients’ lives.
In response, we created “Do Messages: A Message to the World,” an animated short that now runs on free Facebook Messenger mobile applications and Facebook’s Messenger Platform (available on Android and iOS). The short was an adaptation of our own project, “Hide Your Kids: Visualizing the Immigration Ban,” which uses screenshots of Trump immigration policies across the country to create a visceral visualization of what the government is actually saying with each action.
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Click here to learn more about the Open State Fellowship and its free digital-media production program.