Migrationlab co-creates opportunities with and for refugees, migrants and locals to meet, interact and collaborate in cities across Europe. We transform urban spaces to public living rooms together with migrants, refugees and locals to facilitate the encounter and exchange between these communities and help them collaborate to find solutions to local problems they face. In this process we reuse local resources, thus the Migrationlab public living room reflects both the locality and diversity of a specific region and its communities.
We combine social design, storytelling, art and non-formal education to create new ways to communicate with and relate to each other, which is our ultimate goal.
Migrationlab debuted as a blog in September 2014, featuring Laura M. Pana's own journey and experiences as a Romanian migrant woman in Europe with the aim to generate wider conversations and explore migration topics such mobility, home, identity, multilingualism and gender equality together with migrants, refugees and locals all over the world.
Following very good feedbacks, three months later the blog migrated to a project and ultimately to a non-profit organisation, The Migrationlab Foundation/Stichting Migrationlab, based in The Hague and Vienna and active in Europe and beyond.
These are among the first reactions from some of the people who experienced our first "Welcome to the Living Room" event in Vienna, March 2015 or heard about us at the time.
Their feedbacks and this entire event represented a corner stone in the development of Migrationlab as a non-profit organisation and inspired and motivated us to continue to develop the concept of co-creation of spaces of encounter, without knowing back then how important this was to become.
"Thank you so much for yesterday's evening! I love your project and the way you talked about it gave me power for my own. Thank you for your sparkling mind! I don't know if you had the same experience, but for me it was great to see how people would join into a project like this, it made me much braver to continue and go out there and find support!"
Later edit: Four months later, Anna created her own organisation called Integradsion, which provides young refugees in Vienna with bikes to facilitate their mobility and explore the city.
"As a teacher I am delighted by your ideas and projects. There are 20 pupils of 11 nations from all over the world in my class and I can only say "yes" after reading each sentence on your page.
I'm glad you're working on it and will be happy to know your news and progress.
"Hi there! Had a quick look on your project...amazing! Felicitari and...thank you!"
"Une fois encore, félicitations, et merci! Je voulais te (vous) redire à quel point j'ai été profondément touchée par chacun de vos témoignages, par tous les gens présents, par l'ensemble de la soirée…Vécue par la petite expatriée que je suis comme un véritable bol d´air :) J´ai notamment tiqué lorsque tu as fait ce lien entre migration et histoire, ou plutôt "storytelling" ….cette anthropologie de l'homme qui bouge et raconte..."
"Hi! I heard your interview on radioFM4 this morning, then read your blog, interesting experience. I'm native Russian but my parents moved to Ukraine - it was first migration experience- and after I grew up I decided to move out from Ukraine, firstly only for short periods, but afterwards I moved permanently to Slovakia. I can add some CEE experience and Post Soviet people experience of immigration. I hope we can do this world little bit better. Thanx!"