Our Story on Screen: Understanding Immigration Through the Experiences of Others
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractOur Story: A History of the Irish in Derby gathers the personal testimonies of the Irish diaspora in the city of Derby, England, who migrated in the 1950s-60s as one of the largest cohorts of modern Irish emigrants. The content has been collated into a 26-minute film that offers a compendium of stories, anecdotes and personal adventures which aims to offer the audience a better understanding of the experiences of emigrants in the hope they will develop a better appreciation of the migrant’s perspective on the often-thorny issue of immigration. By better understanding how emigration worked in the past the author argues that society can better understand how it works today. The personal perspectives of the contributors act as a reminder of the diverse and multicultural make-up of modern British society, while celebrating the strong links that exist between Ireland and its closest neighbour. This is especially poignant during the current uncertainty caused by Brexit which threatens to revive old divisions between cultures and communities. This practice-based research output aims to inform the public of how rich and diverse British society is and how by being open to learning about other cultures and the immense contribution they make socially, politically, economically and culturally, that perhaps a more equal and accepting society can be cultivated. This work demonstrates how important it is to be sensitive to social, cultural and historical context when examining the experiences and articulations of diaspora experiences. This creative practice-based research is an oral history project at its core and was crewed by undergraduate media production students thus offering applied pedagogic benefits and a publicly disseminated media output. This project was produced for inclusion in REF21 and the survey methodology and key findings and themes that have arisen will also be discussed. The author proposes a 10-minute presentation including a 3-minute promo video of interview samples for context.
CitationMcMahon, D. (2021). 'Our Story on Screen: Understanding Immigration Through the Experiences of Others' [Presentation]. MPE/MeCCSA Practice Network Symposium. Online, Solent University, 22 - 24 June.
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