A Million Stories - a storytelling project

Last year, unexpected events meant Melanie Holst wasn’t able to speak at ILI.  Instead, she has written an article about that project - A Million Stories.  This is an edited version of that article.

A Million Stories is an intercultural storytelling project initiated and led by Roskilde Libraries (Denmark), in collaboration with Malmö (Sweden) and Cologne (Germany) public libraries and Future Library in Veria (Greece).

The project has created an online digital library of human experiences, containing more than 600 unfiltered accounts from refugees that have fled to the EU in recent years, making it the largest curated collection of unfiltered personal accounts from refugees in Europe.

The website enables refugees to share their experiences, culture and life stories in various formats including film, audio/visual and written stories. By doing so, refugees can communicate their stories regardless of language and storytelling capabilities.

Integration through identification

The main intention has been to create a platform likely to foster respect for intercultural diversity by creating references we can all recognise from our everyday lives. By offering refugees a platform from which to share their experiences, we have brought forward the possibility for EU citizens to identify with their new neighbours, thereby contributing to the integration process from a new angle.

The cooperation project

The partner libraries involved in the project represent societies with different political standpoints regarding the question of refugees and migrants. They are also logistically very differently placed on the routes of migration. Where Greece has status, as an arrival country and Denmark a transit country, Sweden and Germany are destination countries on the migration route. This diversity has been an important asset for the project, as it has allowed us entrance into a large variety of refugee communities and offered insight into very different cultural and political contexts, which have influenced the life stories greatly.

A Million Stories encourages cultural institutions worldwide to contribute to the digital human library of personal accounts from refugees, offering a toolkit and short film describing our work and methodologies.

Please go to refugeelives.eu to learn more.

A full version of this article is available here.

 

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