Material Module 6: Case Study Guinea-Bissau (West Africa)

Guinea-Bissau, the country and its role in the migration story

Guinea-Bissau is an under-researched and under-reported country, not only in academia and journalism, but also in global studies. Guinea-Bissau, however, showcases some important context factors of migration and forced displacement, for instance poverty, but also recognition of stateless people. The country has been confined to the lowest ranks of human development since independence in 1974, and the population has been trapped in a cycle of political instability, corruption, poverty and lack of opportunities.
In a short self test the opportunity is given to check the participants knowledge about the geographical-, political- and migration-profile of Guinea-Bissau. Furthermore, the materials for the first exercise mentioned in the handbook can be found here. It is about the critique of the journalistic work about Guinea-Bissau and migration.

Suggestion for classroom:

A senior student of the Institute of Journalism, TU Dortmund University, and practicing TV journalist, Chantal Beil, has prepared a couple of video features on migration and context factors from Guinea-Bissau. Watch the videos below. Each participant has to write a 1-page media critique of the journalistic work, following the questions:

  • Which messages on migrants and refugees does Chantal deliver?
  • How does she structure her stories?
  • Which journalistisc story telling techniques does she apply?
  • Is her view eurocentric or is the telling the African or the Bissau’en story of migrants and refugees?
  • How does Chantal’s way of reporting differ from others they have seen so far?
  • What could Chantal have done better?

1. Video: Migration Stories of Guinea-Bissau – Part I: The Football dream

This is a story about a former migrant, who is now back in Bissau. Why he migrated and returned, what the European returnee program of IOM has to do with it, is shown in the video.

(Musiccredits:, More Information:


2. Video: Migration Stories of Guinea-Bissau – Part II: Education

No education, no hope. Many kids in Bissau are not able to go to school, even though there is compulsory education and public schools in Guinea-Bissau. But the government cannot pay the teachers. The only open schools in Bissau are private schools, which not everyone can afford plus, many teachers there are not well educated themselves. But there is a project on the outskirts of Bissau that gives hope…

(Musiccredits: , More Information about the Project: )


3. Video: Migration Stories of Guinea-Bissau – Part III: Health

Some people want or have to leave Guinea-Bissau to find medical treatment and preventive care. In one single illness, “NOMA”, the process is counter-intuitive: people immigrate to Bissau in order to be treated here or do not have to leave the country and find special care here.

(Musiccredits: , More Information about the Project: )


4.  Travel blog

The following travel blog should help participants to understand more about the research, travel reasons and to write a 1-page media critique of the journalistic work.

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