Zygmunt Bauman, sociologist and one of the most important public intellectuals of our time, passed away on January 9th, 2017. A few months before his death he gave his last ever interview with Aljazeera, a small part of which has been made into an animation. In it, Bauman suggests why so many people in Europe, and elsewhere, fear refugees.
Having experienced being a refugee and exile himself, Bauman refers to the experiences of the precariat; an emerging social class defined by a lack of stable, secure and meaningful employment. People whose lives are stricken with anxiety and fear about an uncertain future.
Bauman asserts that the concerns brought on by this state of precarity are magnified when we see others who have lost everything, reminding us that we are not immune from similar fates.
Bauman’s words are a prescient reminder that, in our search to understand how some media outlets choose to represent issues regarding migrants and refugees, it is also useful to reflect upon the social and economic complexities at play in our own backyard. How can the media intensify or alleviate the worries of the precariat?
Watch the original interview here.