How do you make an archive? As collections of documents, images, narratives or objects that are deliberately preserved, archives are often considered valuable both to individuals and communities. However, those who have experienced forced migration often arrive with few documents, let alone other artefacts or keepsakes that might be used to create their own ‘archive’ or communicate their experiences in a new city and across languages and cultures. Material Stories aims to address the possibilities and challenges of creating archives that explore, connect and preserve the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees in Sheffield and the surrounding area. Here you can see a selection of the images, words and activities made in our first series of workshops.
We are continuing to create, collect and share ‘material stories’ that explore forced migration and the experiences of new arrivals in Sheffield in order to share them with both a contemporary public and with future citizens of Sheffield.