Opportunity: making sense of cultural transformation along migration flows

Dear Squadsters, I think we have a great opportunity coming up.

My friend and fellow Italian @Medhin_Paolos is a photographer, a filmmaker and a highly respected activist around migration, integration and intercultural dialogue. She is mounting a project with Harvard University around, well, migration, and where it goes in terms of transforming the migrants, their children (who are typically not migrants themselves) and the people they end up living with. She can explain it better than me, but it all starts from the great reaction she got to the film she made and the desire to make it go trans-national.

Medhin and I have been talking about it and think that Edgeryders could be a good partner. We can do two things for her:

  1. Mount a research part with ethnography + network analysis, à la opencare. 
  2. Help accelerating the transnational component. 

She and her Harvard partner would lead in writing the project and targeting funders. This would be grant work, not consultancy.

Medhin is first and foremost a friend and a super interesting person, so you guys should meet her regardless. I suggest we organize a Skype/Hangout on the fly. Ideally we would do this between Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th, because during these two days she will be in Madrid and together with the Harvard prof.

@Noemi and @Alex_Levene , can you make it?

Also ping @Nadia and @Natalia_Skoczylas , but the former is busy with the workshop in Ireland, and the latter is on a very different time zone in Indonesia so it’s more FYI.

Wthank you @Alberto for heads up. Let me know when the meeting will happen, because between 5 and 7th of december i will be in a city with hopefully decent internet. So i might be able to join, depending on the time. The oroposal sounds extremely interesting and i would be more than happy to help with it.

Many hugs from indonesia!

Sounds fascinating to me.

I’m still in Ethiopia so i’m GMT+3. I have intermittant internet, but unless we have a heavy rainstorm i should be available. Best times for me are between 10am and 1pm and 2pm and 5pm (all Ethiopian times)

Suggest a time for the call and i’ll put it in my diary


Great!  How about 3 pm Ethiopia/ 12 pm gmt/ 1 pm cet?

@alberto how do we proceed, should we get in touch with Medhin ?

On it

1 pm overlaps with lunch, so not great. Maybe 12.00 noon instead. Other than that, fair enough.

Medhin should have received the notifs, but just in case I’ll follow up with her, with Noemi in cc.

2pm my time. Perfect

I’ll put in my diary for that day

Looking forward to this…

Tuesday works fine, except between 4pm and 6pm (CET).
So 12 CET would be ok for me.
My skype name is Medhin
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Tue 12 CET it is.

Looking forward to see you both,

I’m noemi.salantiu

Can Noemi initiate?

I do not believe I have Skype identities for Alex and Natalia @Noemi

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i am


Poor connection

Just as an FYI, i’ve got awful internet today (obviously yesterday it was great, but the Internet gods must have seen my schedule!)

I’ll still be there for the call, but if it become too frustrating i’ll have to bow out. If so please post any updates on here so i can stay involved.

Notes from our meetup and actionables

We met Medhin and her friend who want to create a platform or give people an excuse to tell their stories or migration. In their work they have seen so many missing parts from the way these are known and perceived: “we need to read archives to find stories which are not officially there”.

The idea of the project is to have all these ideas come to life, in a transnational study.

3 layers:

  1. (Re)Build archives based on stories - an archive that is digital, open source, public; Finding complementary archives that have not been published, to help discover new stories

  2. Preserving stories on the platform

  3. Use the repository created as a source for educational material - edu course on untold histories.

Example from Alberto: HealthTalks.org - interview people, transcribe the interviews, and that becomes a research. What they dont have is conversation, interaction acting as a validation layer. ER can provide a semi-quantitative method based on ethnography and network analysis.

How to do research from silences

Alberto: ethnography of the experience of migrating; valuable in today’s Europe landscape; a repository of first hand weaknesses. It would involve:

-1st hand stories on top of which it would be conceptually simple (not cheap) to make a proper study

-uncovering non-obvious patterns of association between different concepts

So far Medhin and her colleague are applying to NEH/ National Endowment for the Humanities - offering grants for creating a digital archive; Some keywords: migration and diaspora; specialist second generations of citizens;

In the pipeline: they want to apply for 10-12 grants, mostly national (in the US), open during January - March 2017

Our Edgeryders culture team would contribute as a partners and will be tasked with writing parts in the application, mostly methodological.

Medhin and her team will be sharing documentation and instructions with us, and we’ll take it from there.

ping @Alex_Levene @Natalia_Skoczylas

No problem

Jan - March is a busy time for me, but i’ll be able to find some time to help with the writing and proofing of documents.

The project sounds like an interesting investigation into a common, but under reported phenomenon.

I could also potentially help with scripting translations into English for the final film projects - again helping with the international reach of the project.

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