This Is My Home Now


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This is an oral history project about people who have sought refuge in the UK and who now live in the Southampton area. By recording their personal stories and cultural experiences, we hope to reveal an often hidden aspect of the city’s heritage and make this available to the public. As a sea port, Southampton has always been an entry point for migrants, who have tended to arrive en bloc at times of international crisis. Today, like many other British cities, it accommodates refugees who arrive increasingly from all parts of the globe seeking sanctuary and whose stories are undocumented. We aim to include at least 25 participants, aged from 20 to 90, from countries such as the former Czechoslovakia, Vietnam, Uganda, Iran, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Somalia. Some have only recently arrived but others have lived in the city for decades and are so embedded as to be almost invisible. We will collect their stories, their voices and their pictures and will show the result of our work through, a photo exhibition that has been launched in June 2011 as part of Refugee Week in Southampton and a book illustrating the stories.