“The show must go on!”: how the ‘Made in Migration’ team adapted community archaeology methods in light of Covid-19 restrictions

Rachael Kiddey (UK)

Live talk event Friday 23 October 18:00-19:30 BST (London); 13:00-14:30 (New York)

The ‘Made in Migration’ workshop was supposed to be a 5-day face-to-face community archaeology event held in Oxford. The event would have brought together 12 refugees from 8 countries, to work collaboratively with researchers, artists, a poet, an architect, and a film- maker but, sadly, Covid19 put pay to this. Forced to move everything online, as a transdisciplinary team, we spent three months reshaping the event so that it is now taking place over Zoom, as an ongoing series of fortnightly 3-hour online meetings. Aside from finding ways to meaningfully co-interpret data gathered over two years, we are working across 3 time-zones and 7 languages. The ‘Made in Migration’ team is multi-national, multi-
generational, and of mixed gender, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation.

The initial project set out to blend established community archaeology research methods and practices with architectural spatial mapping techniques, creative writing and film-making, to reflect on the objects, places, journeys, people, and things which people encounter during lived experiences of forced displacement across three countries in Europe – the U.K., Greece, and Sweden. By the end of the 5-day intensive workshop, we intended to have co- designed the primary layout of a public exhibition.

Working remotely since March 2020, we have become a smaller collective. In this co- presented talk we share some of the reflective pieces of work that we’ve produced so far. They are works-in-progress – short films, unfinished maps and poems. We are open to respectful discussion about what works and what is less clear. We champion ‘arts-as- research activism’ – using material culture to advocate for better rights for refugees; to articulate what it is like to be ‘Made in Migration’.

 

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