Counterpoints Arts launched Moving Lives in 2015, an online case study of an independent law centre, The Immigrant Council of Ireland (Council). The Council is located in Dublin working nationally and internationally. Visit Moving Lives here
We coined the term iPortrait to produce an interactive case study that would not merely sit on a shelf but could instead reach a wider audience. Character-driven stories in Moving Lives lead you to behind-the-scenes reflection on the Council’s distinctive way of working within the connected fields of immigration reform, strategic litigation, human rights advocacy and social justice.
These in-house reflections are clustered around the documentary films sitting at the front-end of the site. We commissioned filmmaker and photographer, Simon Hipkins from Key Pictures to help us capture the deeply personal and diverse experiences of the people who knocked on the door seeking support. The films depict what it means to be unequal before the law, to experience different levels of discrimination or to live precariously because of lack of clear residency status. Yet they also communicate the visceral power of personal agency and are rich stories of transformation and hope.
The iPortrait approach captures the dynamic ecosystem of the organization, giving access to first-hand reflections from the Council’s team, as they make sense of what they have learned on specific cases and the core policy issues navigated. The team remembers the first time they met with clients and how it impacted on them. Others take stock of why certain approaches and methods work, de-mystifying terminology for those not working in the field.
Themes focused on include: the use of strategic litigation to effect social change; key strategies in effecting change in the area of family rights, student rights, human trafficking and prostitution, due process and residency rights; access to citizenship and greater protections for migrants experiencing domestic violence and racism.
Our partners at pTools and EBOW helped us build and design a unique and robust site structure enabling Moving Lives to be a living archive and learning resource with different levels of access for the reader and viewer. Whether seeking information about relevant issues, or delving into content as a fellow-advocacy worker and activist, legal practitioner or policymaker, or simply curious to watch the film stories as a mainstream viewer, communications and media worker or interested educator, the choice is yours in Moving Lives.
Visit Moving Lives here
Photo: Iram & Noor by Simon Hipkins at Key Pictures