Grant Award for Migration Study

by Alastair Hamilton -

A new project led hosted by Shetland Museum and Archives, which will explore the theme of migration to Shetland, has just won the support of the Leverhulme Trust.

Archives staff will work with Shetland-based writer and artist Raman Mundair. The grant of £15,000 is one of only six awarded each year to academic and artistic institutions in the United Kingdom. Raman will work with Archives staff on an interdisciplinary creative project called "Incoming". The aim is to use resources available at the Archives about earlier migration to Shetland by the Norse, the Scots and Scottish east coast fisher families to put more recent migration in historical context.

Raman will meet people who have settled here from various parts of the world, for example Burmese, Thai, Chinese, Pakistani, Indian and East Europeans. She will interview them about their life journeys which have led them to Shetland, and their hopes and visions for the future. She'll create an archive of oral history, photographic and text portraits of people, to be held in the Archives. Her research will also lead to a series of new short stories focussing on the theme of "incoming" in Shetland.

Raman said: "This is an excellent opportunity to make visible Shetland's diverse and dynamic community. I am looking forward to speaking to people, and will be interested to see how the process informs my own work."

Archivist Brian Smith said: "The Shetland Museum and Archives is very pleased to be hosting the project. We will be collecting material about people who sometimes do not feature in the archival record, and we welcome that opportunity very much."

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