Legal status changes everything
Due to COVID-19 pandemic the situation for many migrants became even worse than it already was. Take the case of Venezualan migrants in Colombia. Over the last six years, more than five million people have fled Venezuela due to its economic and political crisis, and the majority of the migrants seek a better future in neighbouring Colombia. Most people arrive without any identification papers and need to adapt to precarious work – often not legal, and extremely underpaid.
Due to COVID19, the situation of these migrant workers reached a new low point as many lost their already low-paid jobs. So Colombia decided to take a step towards the more humane treatment of their newcomers. As explored in a recent BBC article “Venezuela migrants: ‘Legal status changes everything’”, published in January 2021, almost one million of migrants without their documents gained a guarantee of protected status for up to ten years, meaning they are able to legalise their status as citizens which leads to better and legal job opportunities and a possibility for education.
Why is this step of such an importance? If you wish to learn more about the everyday narratives of people affected by invisible but powerful economic and political influences within their area, check out the newest addition to the IMPAKT Channel which focuses on issues of migration and geopolitical space, including the video by artist Ursula Biemann: Black Sea Files. In this video-research, Biemann focuses on the Black Sea area in which transnational oil corporations hold strong power over the lives of local citizens. Focusing on different types of people living along the oil pipelines, from oil workers to refugees, farmers or prostitutes, Biemann displays the way human narratives may be influenced to an extent in which getaway may seem like the only option.