About the Project

Life Stories of Montrealers Displaced by War, Genocide, and other Human Rights Violations is an oral history project exploring Montrealers’ experiences and memories of mass violence and displacement. A team of both university and community-based researchers is in the process of recording life story interviews with more than 500 Montreal residents over the course of the next five years.

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Those interviewed have been displaced by mass violence, ranging from the Holocaust to the Rwandan and Cambodian genocides, to political violence in Haiti, Latin America and South Asia. The project hopes that the act of listening intently to how these survivors speak of their memories, may bring us to an understanding of what these experiences mean to them and how they can be retold. Recording their process of remembering and telling will also help us better understand the impact of mass violence and displacement on those who have sought refuge in Montreal and the ways in which their sense of home and community has been affected.

Through the practice of oral history, Life Stories intends to create cultural and historical materials for Montreal’s diverse communities, to foster collaboration and partnership between them, to develop interdisciplinary pedagogical tools and to make a significant, original contribution to the preservation of historical memory in Canada, by raising questions about the long-term repercussions of crimes against humanity.

Life Stories is housed by Concordia’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling.

For more information on the project, please download the Research Proposal below.