The main aim of Positive Contributions: Being a Refugee in Britain (Sigona and Torre 2006) is to show, through their voices, that refugees and asylum seekers contribute positively to British society, not just in economic terms but also, and above all, socially and culturally. Giving refugees a voice means creating a space where this voice can be heard – a context where it is possible to retrieve details of a normality that refugees and asylum seekers endlessly build, even in the most adverse of circumstances. The project develops the idea of positive contribution in three main directions:
- refugees enrich British society through their presence by multiplying points of view and creating an attitude that is conducive to questioning assumed truths and credos;
- their knowledge, skills and resources enhance society as a whole when they become part of the common shared values and culture
- forced migration is a result of highly interrelated social and economic processes occurring at global level. As individuals living in ‘our midst’ refugees, asylum seekers and forced migrants bring direct and actual experience of these processes to society.