Creating Futures through Magical Devices and Library Caravans: Participatory Design with Syrian Youth at Za’atari Refugee Camp by Professor Karen E. Fisher
When: Monday, October 10th at 3:00 – 4:00 with a Q&A session at 4 p.m.
Where: Library Room 020
In 2016 the world is facing the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII: over 65M people are forcibly displaced, and half of them are youth. Drawing on previous work with U.S. teens from East Africa, Myanmar and Latin America, we explore how technology and libraries can help young Syrian refugees build their futures. We report on recent fieldwork from Zaatari Syrian Refugee Camp in Jordan, highlighting youth creativity, desire to help others via ICT wayfaring and crisis response, and universal design archetypes. We share sample design specs for glasses that detect disease and other magical devices, storytelling sessions, a YouTube community memory project, and interviews with refugee volunteers at caravan libraries. The United Nations Refugee Agency gave us a mission to help build capacity through innovation at Zaatari. In this talk, we pause, to debrief and brainstorm with audiences on how libraries and technology can help refugee youth and families re imagine their lives in the Middle East and world at-large. Shukran.
Karen E. Fisher, Professor, information school, University of Washington. An advocate of humanitarian research, her passion is how libraries and information technology can create futures. Fisher is working with Arab refugees in the Middle East and Europe, understanding their information behavior, and building capacity through education, livelihoods, and social engagement.