Tintin Wulia’s passport workshop provided an insightful look into the inherent hierarchy and advantages of being born in a certain country, specifically how it can limit your country of citizenship and its policies can limit your personal prospects abroad. I did the activity wrong, as I picked which country I wanted (not knowing anything about the global passport index and basing my choice purely on personal preference). I ended up picking Germany, which I soon learned had an index of 1, indicating I had extreme international mobility capabilities. I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t know that certain passports granted such widespread mobility, while others severely restricted it, since it seems obvious this would be the case. In this case, and in real life, I’m extremely grateful for the access to the world I have based off of something so arbitrary as where you ended up being born/who your parents were. Among the problems in the world and issues I concerned myself with, the impact of the restriction through bureaucratic roadblocks on people in “unstable” countries was low on the list. I’m happy to try to understand this privilege, and acknowledge this inequality.
Looking back on this activity after having recently traveled internationally churned up more thoughts on index mobility. My trip to Haiti revitalized the thoughts I further developed about the vicious cycle of tourism and geographical isolation via economic limitations. Many Haitians have never left Haiti, and its passport has a mobility score of 61, allowing Haitians to only travel easily to 49 countries. Even if one were to overcome the economic odds of international travel, their options are already inherently limited.