Skip to main content

Lived Experiences, Moving Memories and the Refugee Archive

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square, G04

This event has ended.

How does the Archive respond to the lived experiences of refugees and the challenges of engaging with non-traditional document types?  This presentation will take the notion of civic engagement, outreach and empowered collaboration as tools to empower displaced communities to right to determine how they are represented within the “Archive.” It will explore the concept of the archive as a contested space where preserving refugee rights in the records that we keep challenges existing discourses and notions of community memory, belonging and identity. It will explore how we have undertaken civic engagement and outreach work with refugees and asylum seekers in London and beyond to explore ways of documenting their stories using bottom-up oral history methodologies and the use of objectives and textiles as a means of preserving collective memories and new modes of representation beyond the traditional written word.

Examples will be drawn from different projects undertaken with the Archive including oral history work with refugees and asylum seekers in London and the creation of the Living Refugee Archive; an exhibition of objects and “Crafting Resistance” workshops documenting the Chilean diaspora in the UK and civic engagement and outreach work across our archival collections.

If you would like to attend, please email Jasmine Gideon:


Contact name:

  • Paul V. Dudman -

    Paul V. Dudman is the Archivist based at the University of East London, responsible for the Refugee Council Archive and other collections.  Paul has led civic engagement projects documenting the life histories of refugees in East London and creating the Living Refugee Archive; an online refugee mental health portal; documenting archival narratives through performance theatre; documenting the community and architectural histories of North Woolwich and Silvertown and the OLIve course for refugees and asylum seekers.  Paul’s research interests are focused around community archives and participatory cultural heritage whilst exploring narrative approaches in helping to document and preserve the life histories and first-hand testimonies of refugees and asylum seekers.  Paul is interested in the role of archives in helping to support the rights of refugees, refugee advocacy and allowing marginalised voices to be heard.  Paul has been involved with the Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives and co-convenes the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration Working Group and the Oral History Society Migration Special Interest Group.