Studies in social history have documented time and again that migration has always been part of the human existence. If migration movements are as old as human history itself, world history can be read as a story of mobility. In today's world, international references have become part of day-to-day life – whether we are shopping, eating in a restaurant, watching television, at the cinema, maintaining a certain lifestyle or taking political action. These everyday situations in which we find ourselves and in which we act build our biographies and our familial references. They are also involved in many ways in events that cannot exclusively be defined locally, even if they manifest in a locally specific manner.
It is with this in mind that, together with their (grand)parents, teachers and friends, youth from Tyrol researched their family histories of migration and searched for traces of mobility in their neighbourhoods. They also gained broad support from universities and civil society. The project’s active network, which is based at the Institute for Educational Science in the Migration and Education learning and research field, includes:
It also included citizens from the Innsbruck/Pradl and Fulpmes Tirolean research areas, who wrote reports on the history of migration in their areas or provided documents that were relevant to the project (e.g. artefacts of migration).
Why not take a look into your own family history? You can refer to family migration experience if, for example, an uncle emigrated to Canada for professional reasons or if your grandparents moved to Tyrol from the capital city through internal migration. Our regions of experience cover the entire world. In this way, multiple affiliations are possible and there are a variety of examples of this from multi-home day-to-day life:
A pupil from Tyrol meets her best friend over Skype and regional borders. Every week, a university assistant commutes between his home and work. During the week, he works in Vienna and at the weekend, he spends time with his family in Innsbruck. It is a long car journey from Tyrol to Serbia, especially when the children are excited about Gran’s baklava. One teenager is immersed in several languages a day: he speaks German with his sister, Kurdish with his mother and a regional dialect with his best friend.
In this research project, young people are experts in their life experience and actively shaped the entire research process: they developed their own research questions, which they then answered with the help of open interviews with parents and relatives. Furthermore, the young people used ethnographic field research to search for traces of migration in their immediate area and district.
From a scientific perspective, it was then asked how migration is perceived and evaluated in individual families and whether there is a knowledge or awareness of migration. The artefacts of migration, and other items, brought into project lessons and schools helped with this.
Artefacts of migration: Azra's key
Based on the knowledge obtained on family and location-specific histories of migration, the young people organised a final event in Innsbruck. The research results were also entered into an online notebook, which was largely aimed at schools and the general public. On the one hand, this project made a significant contribution to researching family stories of migration and the city. On the other hand, the findings from the project should serve to create another form of awareness of migration and diversity in your location.
Current information and announcements can be found on the project blog:
(Click on an image to enlarge)
Prof. Dr. Erol Yildiz und Ass.-Prof. Dr. Marc Hill (Forschungs-Bildungs-Kooperationen), both Universität Innsbruck, Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft/Migration und Bildung
Scientific project staff: Mag. Miriam Hill, Anita Rotter MA
Student assistant: Alexander Böttcher, BA