Un/Documented is a new podcast from IMIX which tells the stories behind the headlines.
The current news cycle is dominated by toxic talk about immigration. Politicians throw around numbers and hastily-put-together slogans; the debate intensifies and the tone sinks lower. Stereotypes, generalisations and mistruths easily trip off the tongues of those in power but the voices, stories and experiences of people at the heart of the issues is rarely heard.
At IMIX, we get the privilege of talking every day with people who have made the journey to the UK and begun to form a new life on our shores. From women who left behind incredible careers in Afghanistan to young men escaping brutal, violent regimes to families seeking a better life and future – these are the stories behind the headlines. Each one is unique. Each one compelling and powerful in their own way.
We launched our Human Journeys storytelling platform on Instagram in 2020 and since then have shared over 200 stories of people who have made the UK their home through choice or chance. Lawyers, filmmakers, journalists, community workers, bakers, gardeners, students, campaigners, boxers, doctors and artists have all shared their words and experiences with us. On Facebook Good Neighbours tells stories of neighbourhoods up and down the country showing amazing hospitality and people working together to make their cities, towns and villages more cohesive and welcoming. These collection of stories are a celebration of an extraordinary community of people.
Un/Documented builds on these storytelling platforms to create another space for more human stories to be shared. The intimate nature of podcasts and the feeling of ‘listening in’ to people talking is the perfect way to explore more of these stories in depth. It gives people space and time to speak openly but also in a safe way, and invites its listeners into that conversation.
Un/Documented will also talk to campaigners, journalists and local communities all working to create a more compassionate immigration system and seek to learn from their experience. Together we will explore what a conversation of hope really looks like.
We are hugely grateful to our editor, Simon Sapper who has provided technical expertise support and guidance as we have been creating the podcast. Make sure you check out Aref Ghorbani who has written and performed the music @thearefghorbani on Twitter and @Arefghorbani.official on Instagram.
The podcast is presented by actor, activist, founder of Babylon Migrants Project and IMIX friend, Ali Ghaderi and our very own, Head of Voices, Eli Ziai. Eli and Ali share their thoughts on the launch of Un/Documented:
Eli says: ‘I believe Un/Documented is a safe platform to hear from people with lived experience, journalists and the amazing people who work in the sector. It aims to highlight the gaps and challenges while celebrating perseverance and successes. All the interviews have something in common, they all are around love and hope.’
Ali says: ‘This is super exciting, I loved working with Eli on interviewing some amazing people who are coming from different backgrounds and they are all supporting refugees and asylum seekers in their own ways. All the stories are so powerful and they are all full of love and hope.’
We can’t wait to share these ‘stories of love and hope’ with you as we pilot six episodes of Un/Documented.
Episode One: The power of lived experience voices
In the first episode of Un/Documented, we explore one of the most important themes of our work at IMIX; ensuring that people who have been through the UK immigration system are given a platform to share their stories. Our media director, Julia speaks to Khaleel, who shares his experience of speaking to the media about crossing the Channel by boat and seeking asylum in the UK. Eli and Ali then talk to the Guardian journalist, Nicola Kelly about how she champions the role of lived experience in her storytelling, the importance of authentic voices, and why journalists should not be able to ask everything.
Journey with us on Un/Documented to hear the voices we don’t always hear from in mainstream media and become part of a conversation of hope.