UCFL is delighted to share the following Small Grant report written by Antonia Wimbush (University of Liverpool):

“Thanks to the generous funding from the UCFL Small Grants Scheme, I was able to collaborate on a project with Guadeloupean students and creative practitioners to place value on histories and memories of the BUMIDOM, a state-sponsored postwar migration scheme. I worked with graphic novelist Jessica Oublié and musician Yure Romão to teach 10 Masters students at Université des Antilles in Guadeloupe how to interview family members who migrated through the scheme. We discussed how to conduct archival research in order to gain important contextual information, and the students also had the opportunity to visit the Archives départementales de la Guadeloupe in Gourbeyre with Jessica Oublié to carry out their own research. We also examined ethical concerns about conducting interviews in which people relive potentially difficult experiences. After students had interviewed their family members, a final online workshop was held for students to reflect on the historical information they had learnt about the BUMIDOM and the methodological issues they had encountered. 

Musician Yure Romao then collated the data from the interviews and created a sonic montage, combining clips and extracts from the different interviews to produce a creative response with which to commemorate migration through the Bureau. The montage is available here. It was shown at the ‘BUMIDOM in Interdisciplinary Perspectives’ conference, held at the University of Liverpool in June 2023 and organised as part of my Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. It has also been shown to the students and local community in Gourbeyre, Guadeloupe.  

The project allowed Guadeloupean students to learn about an important but neglected episode of their history, as well as teaching them about conducting oral history interviews in an ethical manner. It gave BUMIDOM participants the opportunity to share their memories of migration. It also allowed this knowledge to be shared with local and international communities through events in Liverpool and Guadeloupe. 

We would like to thank the University Council For Languages for funding this project.”

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