In keeping with LERRN’s commitment to responding to, and facilitating research driven by partners in major refugee-hosting countries, the Archives, Living Histories and Heritage Working Group has been formed to pursue the following key objectives:

  • Contribute to a rethinking of what constitutes refugee history, by amplifying refugee accounts that tend to be marginalized in state-centric accounts of displacement.
  • Raise awareness of refugee experiences and histories through the documentation and dissemination of archival, oral history, museum and other heritage resources and promote the role of refugees as researchers, policymakers and practitioners.
  • Respond to and support historical, heritage, archival, and oral history research interests from LERRN partners in the four geographic working groups (Lebanon, Jordan, Tanzania and Kenya).



Report on Oral History and Refugee Project

Report Cover Page

This oral history and refugee project aims to identify archives, educational tools and museology linking oral history and refugees. The project acknowledges that national archives and libraries very often own collections on refugees not necessarily digitalised or mentioned online.

Prepared by Federica De Sisto.

Collaboration with Al-Jana

The group works closely with Hicham Kayed, a filmmaker, activist, member of LERRN’s Lebanon Working Group and the Deputy General Coordinator of Al-Jana, a Lebanese NGO that seeks to empower marginalized communities through creative arts.

Al-Jana is instrumental in helping refugees document and tell their own stories, through many programs and activities. Through the Active Memory Campaign, Al-Jana collects oral testimonies from Palestinian refugees with particular attention to empowering experiences and cultural contributions, folk stories and songs, recollections of the uprooting, and accounts of life in Palestine. Click here to explore more of Al-Jana’s work.

In October 2019, the Archives, Living Histories and Heritage Working Group welcomed Hicham to Ottawa for three days of workshops and the Canadian premiere of his film “Aisle.” The film documents two Palestinian refugees in Lebanon who made the difficult decision to travel to Germany, leaving behind family and culture for the chance at a life of freedom and opportunity. It highlighted the power of individual stories in understanding the human experience of being a refugee beyond the statistics.

Hicham also had fruitful discussions with Carleton University students and faculty on telling the stories of children and youth, archiving, documentary filmmaking and collecting oral histories.

Relevant Publications

Relevant Media