Refugee Histories, Representation and Records: Counter-Narratives of the Refugee Archive and Empowered Collaboration – a Case Study of the Living Refugee Archive.

Paul Dudman (University of East London Archives)

Cancelled due to illness.

Details about joining this online seminar will be emailed out the day before to all those registered.

This paper will focus upon the participatory and co-collaborative approaches undertaken by the Refugee Archives / Living Refugee Archive at the University of East London (UEL) to support and develop ethical bottom-up anti-oppressive methodologies for documenting the life histories and testimonies of communities with experience of exile and displacement. This paper will draw upon a number of civic engagement and outreach projects undertaken by our Archives which have focused directly upon a person-centred approaches to community-engaged participatory practices grounded in supporting the agency and voice of traditionally under-represented communities with the Archive and to help establish an ethics of care in supporting communities to help empower their own community focused storytelling. This paper will also consider how we have developed bottom-up anti-oppressive methodologies to help challenge and disrupt traditional archival paradigms associated with what constitutes a person-centred community-led “archive” whilst recognising and highlighting the voices of displaced actors in their own efforts to empower the document their own communities.

Paul V. Dudman has been the Archivist at the University of East London (UEL) Archives for over 18 years, and whose archives include the British Olympic Association Archive; East London People’s Archive; Hackney Empire Theatre Archive; and the Refugee Council Archive. Paul has worked on a number of archival civic engagement projects exploring issues surrounding the ethical documentation of migration narratives and the role of theatre as means of performing and representing narratives as a tool for empowerment and social change. Paul’s research interests are focused on refugee history and the role of archives in documenting and preserving the personal narratives and life histories of migration.

Paul is involved in a number of activities within the fields of archives and refugee/migration issues. Paul is the Editor for the journal Displaced Voices: A Journal of Archives, Migration and Cultural Heritage hosted on our Living Refugee Archive online portal. Additionally, Paul is a co-convenor of the IASFM (International Association for the Study of Forced Migration) Working Group on the History of Forced Migration and Refugees: An International Working Group for Archiving and Documentation and Secretary for the IASFM Executive Committee. Paul is also a Lead Convenor for the Oral History Society Special Interest Group on Migration; and is a member of the International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR).