Element Society has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £35,600 for an exciting heritage project, Displaced Migrants: Living History. 

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the Displaced Migrants: Living History project gives Young People (aged 16-24) the opportunity to individually and collectively explore their own heritage and identity in workshops where they will be trained up in oral history skills. This involves the recording of the unique lived experiences, opinions and memories of people from different walks of life. Young people will learn how to use the technical equipment, interview and collect, organise, theme and present stories like social researchers. Our partners of the project – The University of Sheffield will guide us through the process. At the end of the project, we will also create a learning resource pack, which will be accessible to teachers to be used in schools. 

The young people will then collect the stories of people from displaced communities in Sheffield, including refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and new arrivals to the city. Once the stories are collected, they will then be edited into audio clips and presented creatively as zines (DIY themed mini magazines), which will be shared in exhibitions and gatherings around the city, including being archived at the local history library and the University of Sheffield, too. The project is an opportunity to voice and document hidden stories, where these missing important narratives will be archived for posterity. While many people from migrant communities may have left their homelands in challenging and traumatic circumstances, they also bring with them memories that mark their dynamic culture and heritage, including music, food, dance and history. This creates a legacy for future generations of this city of the sanctuary which welcomes refugees and migrants. 

The project will take place over the Summer at Element Society Social Action Studios on Leopold Street. Young People who are interested in taking part, we expect to document and keep with one migrant story throughout the Summer project. We would like to ask participants to come thinking about what ‘heritage’ means to them and be willing to explore this in a peer group setting. 

Element Society will cover travel expenses and provide food over the training days and we welcome interest from diverse backgrounds, and especially those who are from a Migrant background themselves. 

Dates for the diary: 

  • 29th & 30th July – Oral history training days 
  • 1st – 23rd August – Recording the stories (flexible, 1-1 support) (commit to recording 1 story) 
  • 27th & 28th August – Editing and Zine making sessions 
  • 29th Aug - 21st Sept – 1-1 support 
  • 28th September – Re-grouping 
  • October (TBC) – Exhibition, Celebration 

The project will end in October in an exhibition and celebration event, where everyone who has participated can share their experiences over food, music and conversations. 

We also want to hear from people from refugee, migrant, asylum seeker and new arrival communities who are willing to share their stories. 

The project is supported by and working in partnership with the University of Sheffield and is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

For further information contact Uzma Kazi (Living History Coordinator): 0114 299 9210, [email protected], Twitter: @livinghistory_elementsociety