Refugee States: Oral History Narrators Wanted

May 11, 2024

How do we tell stories of refugee stories differently? Refugee States is a project that challenges dominant narratives about forced migration. We partner with community organizations to co-create a counter-archive of refugee and migration oral histories and to activate this counter-archive through the production and exhibition of digital storytelling. Your story is important for widening the narrow ways we see refugees, so that we can honour survival, resilience, hope, and joy, in addition to stories of persecution and suffering. We invite you to join the project by participating as a narrator in an oral history interview and to collaborate in the co-production of digital stories by drawing on this recorded interview. We especially invite applications from racialized narrators with lived experience  of displacement and/or migration who would like have their story audiotaped and videotaped in an oral history interview. This will be preserved in a secure digital archive.

You are invited to participate by sharing your story in a videotaped interview, a copy of which you will keep for yourself and your loved ones. You will be asked to bring an object and/or an image or set of images that are personally meaningful to you. The questions in this interview will focus on your connection to these materials. Another copy of the interview  will be preserved  on a secure   digital archive, which you will be able to access.      

What will be asked of you:

By participating, you will be in contact with members of the project team. The process includes a pre-interview, an interview that is videotaped and/or audiotaped, and follow-up. The entire process will take approximately 5-7 hours long, scheduled at your convenience over several sessions, at a community centre, the university, or, if you prefer, your home. In appreciation for your shared time and knowledge, you will be paid  $40/ hour. Narrators may also extend their participation by drawing on their recorded oral history to produce a digital storytelling video or podcast.  

You are eligible to participate if you are:

▪  Over 18 years of age;

▪  a permanent resident or citizen of Canada;

▪  reside in or willing to meet in the Greater Toronto Area

▪  willing to participate in a videotaped and/or audiotaped interview

We are accepting applications for oral history narrators until June 15, 2024.

To participate in this project or for questions about this study, please contact:

Project Co-Director, Thy Phu ( or

To apply, please complete this form.

This project has received ethics approval from the University of Toronto Scarborough.