Living History: Displaced Migrants is an oral history project for young people, documenting migrant heritage stories. The stories are audio recorded and creatively represented as a way of keeping this important history alive. 

This project ran as a pilot from June 2019 - February 2020. We are now touring the stories as an audio/visual exhibition in local community spaces. You can listen to the stories at Storying Sheffield or on SoundcloudThey are also available at the Sheffield Archives.

This project runs flexibly for 18-24 year-olds who want to get trained up in oral history skills. You will be paired up with a person who comes from a migrant heritage background, who would like to share their story, over a 6-8 week period in Sheffield.

How can I get involved?

For Young People:
This project is suited to those aged 18-24, who have an interest in building their ‘people skills’ and who want to learn about the lives of people from a variety of heritage backgrounds. This is an opportunity to reflect on and document your own stories, too. To complete the project we ask you to:

  • Participate in full oral history training at Element HQ
  • Interview at least 1 person who would like to share their story
  • Audio edit, transcribe and create a zine
  • Commit to participating over a 6-8 week period, with flexible times/days to suit you
  • Be committed to the ethical guidelines of documenting stories
  • Be open-minded and have fun!
  • At the end, you will receive a copy of the recorded story, a certificate of participation, invaluable skills and experience for your CV and opportunities to share your experience on media platforms

For those who want to tell their heritage story:
This is a chance to share your story with a person who will carefully document it, with your permission and guidance.

  • You can choose how you want the story to be recorded and where it can be shared
  • If you are interested but undecided, we can meet a few times to discuss before you commit
  • You must be aged 18 or over
  • Have basic English language skills
  • At the end, you will receive a copy of the recordings and opportunities to share your experiences on media platforms, if you wish to.

For schools and community groups:
We can offer interactive workshops based on themes linked to things such as:

  • Citizenship
  • PSHE
  • History
  • Arts
  • Other relevant topics.

Contact Uzma for more information.

For children, parents/carers & teachers:
We have created an interactive learning resource on the topic of ‘heritage’ aimed at children aged 8 – 12. We encourage group activity and reflection time with adults. Download it here.

If this sounds like it could be a valuable experience for you, then contact Uzma (Living History Co-ordinator) at [email protected] or on 0114 299 9210 or fill in this form.

Success so far...

The young participants had the opportunity to share their experiences of the project at the launch of the exhibition at Element Society. Here is what Jake Sutcliffe, a young person who did one of the interviews for the programme said:

It was full of culture, history, lovely people. It was just amazing. The person I interviewed had such a rich and deep story of history, family, excitement and love and it was the most amazing thing I have ever done.

When asked about their experiences of the project, some of the people who shared their migrant stories had this to say:

It was particularly empowering to be involved with such a beautiful project. I was quite emotional when Jake made his speech saying he enjoyed interviewing me and he said it was amazing to know my history. Sometimes we maybe don't realise how good we are! As a journalist I can tell you, Jake, if you want to follow this as a career, I think you will do it very well. You are only 16 years old, but you have talent.

Honoured to have contributed to this project which gives young people the opportunity to build their oral history skills by interviewing people of different migrant backgrounds. An important record of missing lived histories has been created and is now shared/curated at this exhibition.

This is taking shape at the most consequential of times - when it comes to the perception of migrants in this country and beyond.

My personal history, which is intrinsically connected to Angola's traumatic transition from a Portuguese colony to an independent state and has become defined by the artistic pursuit that brought me to these shores, was gently and thoughtfully approached by my young Sudanese interviewer Khaled.

I'm proud to have my heritage story incorporated into this project which will not just inspire future generations by being archived at Element Society and the local history library, but also, more currently, empower the young people involved with skills that include the sharing of the content, event planning and the making of a resource pack which can be used by other youth workers and teachers.

The project is supported by The University of Sheffield and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.