For millions of people from the global south, their passports feel more like an impediment than a gateway to many opportunities and many destinations overseas. Unfair rules in migration systems and excessive bureaucratic procedures meant visa processing is more expensive and time-consuming for people from the global south. It also meant they have less access than, say, a man with an American passport would have over career or learning opportunities.
Laissez-Passer (LP) is building an online community space for people who can collectively highlight how unjust migration systems are by sharing their own stories and experiences. The soon-to-be-launched online space will be called The Impassport.
Much like community coffeehouses where people come to hangout and share their stories and passion, The Impassport will be a space for people to voice out their opinions or share their experiences about how having an impossible passport has prevented them from reaching their goals or destinations.
The LP team can interview interested individuals who want to share their own stories, or we can collaborate with people who prefer a different creative execution for their stories (blog posts, illustrations, etc). The Impassport launch will be part of LP’s series of online action to raise the awareness on the inequalities of human mobility.
The series will highlight four key points:
1) Racial justice: Racism in migration systems and how the system became a tool to profile, harass, interrogate, and even detain people simply because of the passports they carry
2) Economic justice: How migration systems reinforce a widening economic inequality globally because it prevents people from pursuing a learning or economic opportunity overseas
3) Gender justice: The current migration systems do not belong to the 2020s. They remain blind to the needs of women whose pursuit of economic empowerment or safer homes abroad are delayed by onerous and sometimes unnecessarily convoluted visa processes. They remain blind to the needs of transgender people who are subjected to harassment and discrimination at airports because the system does not recognize their identities. Migration systems must adapt to the times and respect the dignity of people of all genders.
4) Digital solutions: The year 2020 may be a dumpster fire of a year, but it also fast-tracked the shift to a more streamlined, more digitalized, and less bureaucratic new normal. Visa processing can follow suit and go digital to lessen the costs and amount of commute for people applying for visas.
Do you have your own Impassport story? We want to hear from you so we can feature your story! We can also collaborate with you if you prefer a different creative execution for your story. Drop us a line and we can make this happen! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org