The Project

What is the purpose of this research project?

War and conflict make many people homeless. Victims of war also suffer immense violence and trauma. To save themselves and their families, they embark on migration journeys as refugees. These traumatic events can affect their sense of who they are.

We want to better understand how refugees start a new life and develop a new sense of identity. We want to record their stories and document the challenges they face. The aim is to compare two groups at different stages of being refugees in Wales. Sri Lankan Tamil refugees arrived in waves between the 1980s and 2010, when the civil war ended in Sri Lanka. Syrian asylum seekers have been claiming refugee status since the start of the civil war in 2011. Both groups are well represented in Wales.

Their stories are part of Welsh history and need to be heard and understood. Because of this, the recordings will be archived at Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales. They will become a permanent part of the national collections. With the permission of interviewees, they will be made publicly available as a learning resource for present and future generations.

One of the aims of the study is to enable refugee communities to get their stories heard by those that matter. Telling these stories is important, especially for policy making and education. The project aims to raise awareness and support refugees in their struggle to thrive and belong.

What will happen to the results of the research project?

The project will produce:

  • a web-based archive of data on the experience of refugees for use by researchers, teachers, third-sector workers, and policymakers;
  • scholarly books and articles;
  • a permanent oral history archive of the communities studied to be included in the sound archive of AC-NMW;
  • an online exhibition on the People's Collection Wales (PCW) website
  • creative plays staged during Refugee week, 2022.

Who is organising and funding this research project?

The research is organised by Professor Radhika Mohanram, School of English, Communication and Philosophy in Cardiff University and Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. The research is currently funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.