Refugee Communities History Project
This website and exhibition, Belonging: voices of London's refugees, were created as part of the Refugee Communities History Project. Between 2004-6 this groundbreaking partnership project collected more than 160 in-depth life story interviews. It also collected hundreds of photographs, objects and other items.
This unique collection provides extraordinary insights into the experiences of refugees in London, the challenges they face, and the contributions they make to London.
The interviews were collected by fifteen fieldworkers, most from the communities with which they worked. Each fieldworker was based with a refugee community organisation (RCO). They undertook MA-level training at London Metropolitan University before each interviewing ten people. The fieldworkers and their RCOs created their own local exhibitions and events. They also collaborated in the development of the Belonging exhibitiona and website.
The collection is now archived at the Museum of London. It is accessible to researchers by appointment. Visit the Copyright page for contact details.
The Refugee Communities History Project has its own website at www.refugeestories.org On this site you can hear other voices and find out more about the project.
The partners in the Refugee Communities History Project were:
- Evelyn Oldfield Unit (lead partner)
- Museum of London
- London Metropolitan University
- Resource Unit for Mother Tongue and Supplementary Schools
- Afghan Association of London
- African Community Health and Research Organisation, with the Lwo Cultural Group
- Bosnian Resource Information Centre Kosovar Support
- Chinese Information and Advice Centre
- Council for Assisting Refugee Academics
- Eritrean Education and Publication Trust
- Ethiopian Community in Britain
- Haringey Somali Community and Cultural Association
- Imece Turkish Speaking Women’s Group
- Iraqi Community Association
- Kurdish Association
- Latin American Association
- Latin American Women’s Rights Service, with Latin
- American Disabled People’s Project and Latin
- American Elderly People’s Project
- Roma Support Group
- Tamil Relief Centre
The interviews were conducted by Zibiah Alfred, Banu Aydinoglugil, Alemu Ayele, Sofia Buchuck, Hanna Dobrzynska, Basil Jaber, Frohar Poya Faryabi, Zaynab Hassan, Samuel Olara, Diana Palmerin, Jasminka Rogić, Adnan Shaswar, Raju Vaidyanathan, Ruby Yang, and Solomon Yohannes.
The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the City Parochial Foundation and Trust for London.
‘As long-standing funders of refugee community organisations, CPF and TfL believe that it is vitally important to record the histories of refugees who have made their homes in London since 1951.
It is important that the histories of the people who have arrived here more recently are not lost to their children, or indeed, to Londoners, now and in the future.’
Bharat Mehta, Chief Executive / Secretary to the Trustees of the City Parochial Foundation.