Participatory Media, Place-Based Stories & Refugee Youth

While migration is one of the biggest issues of our time, few of us really understand the challenges that youth refugees encounter. All too often, refugee narratives are written by writers or journalists who stress the violence an individual has endured, without also depicting the complexity of what comes after. Mapping Memories (2007-12) offered over a hundred young individuals the opportunity to recount their stories on their own terms. The photos, exhibits and videos that emerged from this project have been used to build understanding about refugee rights and the diversity of refugee experiences in classrooms, with decision makers and with the larger public.

This book/DVD/website is designed for anyone wanting to engage in collaborative media projects involving creative self-expression and public advocacy, including educators, youth advocates, social workers, researchers, and media facilitators. We invite you to use the videos as well as the resources we developed to initiate similar storytelling projects. In our book and in a series of articles, we discuss the ethical considerations that came into play in helping individuals go public with very sensitive stories. Confronting adversity is not unique to refugee youth and we hope these stories will inspire other young people to share their stories and in doing so discover their own capacities to work through difficult situations.

Through Mapping Memories you will:

  • Discover compelling digital stories and films about migration, belonging, and cultural identity.
  • Gain practical insights on using digital storytelling, mapping, video, photovoice, soundscapes, and oral history.
  • Explore the power of using personal stories to inspire audiences, counter biases, and build understanding in classrooms and communities

Individual chapters are available for download.

Contact us to order the book.


Expériences de jeunes réfugiés à Montréal est un projet multimédia coopératif qui utilise des histoires personnelles et toute une gamme d’outils médiatiques (vidéo, promenades sonores, cartographie, photographie) pour mieux comprendre les expériences des jeunes réfugiés à Montréal. Utilisant des méthodes participatives, notre objectif est de produire des créations qui auront un impact sur la politique, l’éducation, l’art et sur la vie des jeunes impliqués.

Ce projet a été développé en partenariat avec le Conseil canadien pour les réfugiés et Histoires de vie Montréal, une initiative universitaire et communautaire qui travaille avec les communautés de réfugiés dans le but d'enregistrer leurs récits de vie et de développer une meilleure sensibilisation sur qui sont les Montréalais déplacés par la guerre, le génocide ou autres violations des droits de la personne.