Identity Without Borders is a collaborative project between the University of Oxford’s Museums and people who have come to the UK as refugees or seeking asylum. Through workshops, public events, digital interventions and exhibitions, diverse groups of people are coming together to explore identity, migration and the material culture of museums. University staff and community volunteers are working together to enable people to communicate stories about their own cultural heritage through the many objects looked after by University of Oxford museums. New and often marginalised voices are being brought into the heart of the museums.
Volunteers are giving their time, sharing knowledge and undertaking research. Activities co-developed by community volunteers are transforming the museums into a comfortable, relaxed space for new visitors. The project began at the Pitt Rivers Museum in 2016.
Collaboration is central to this project. Museum staff are developing sustainable relationships with local organisations and supporting people to engage with the collections in ways most meaningful to them. Oxford based charities Refugee Resource, Asylum Welcome, BK.LUWO, Syrian Sisters and Confluence Collective are helping spread the word amongst Oxford’s refugee and asylum-seeking community and supporting the University museums to connect with a diverse steering group of volunteers.
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