'Migration Narratives' Exhibition

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September 5, 2016
December 9, 2016
UNC Global
FedEx Global Education Center
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301 Pittsboro St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States

Migration Narratives highlights four projects undertaken by recent alumni, graduate and undergraduate students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to consider the local impacts of global migration.

People migrate due to both personal circumstances and historical, economic, social and political moments. Their migration experience is further shaped by the traditions and experiences they carry with them and the cultures and history of their new home. Migration Narratives considers both the common threads that connect migrants around the globe and the uniqueness of each person’s narrative through multimedia interviews, oral histories, photographs and textiles.

Migration Narratives will be on display at the FedEx Global Education Center from Sept. 5 to Dec. 9, 2016. A panel discussion with project researchers and participants will take place on Nov. 3 at the FedEx Global Education Center. Reception to begin at 5:30 pm with a panel discussion to follow.

The exhibition features four projects:

Divided by the Sea

Three refugees who escaped a brutal civil war in Libya pose for a portrait at their temporary home in San Giovanni, Italy. The men, who asked that their identities be obscured, made the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean with hopes of a better life. Photo by Gabriela Arp '16 M.A.

Photo by Gabriela Arp ’16 M.A.

Divided by the Sea is a collection of multimedia stories about the Mediterranean refugee crisis and its impact on the small city of Reggio Calabria in Southern Italy. Andrea Patiño Contreras ’16 M.A. and Gabriela Arp ’16 M.A. produced, researched, and documented Divided by the Sea through video and photography. William Moose ’16 M.A. assisted with research, and the online platform was developed by Andy Roberson ’16 B.A. and Clinton King ’16 B.A., with graphic design by Andy Roberson. The team traveled to Reggio Calabria in 2015 to build relationships with people experiencing the crisis and learn about the effects of an unprecedented influx of people searching for safety and security in a new community. Photography and audio from the project are on display.

New Roots/Nuevas Raíces: Voices from Carolina del Norte

Video screenshot provided by Andrea Patiño Contreras '16 M.A.

Video screenshot provided by Andrea Patiño Contreras ’16 M.A.

New Roots is a bilingual digital archive of oral histories as told by Latin American migrants who have put new roots in North Carolina, as well as from North Carolinians who have worked to ease their integration in the state. As an ongoing and permanent research initiative, New Roots has generated over 130 audio-recorded interviews with complementary materials, including transcriptions, field notes and tape logs. The initiative produces around 40 new interviews annually. Interviews are conducted by staff and students at the Latino Migration Project, a project of the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Center for Global Initiatives, and processed and archived by the Southern Oral History Program and Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Video, transcripts and photography are on display.


Home in a New Place: Making Laos in Morganton, North Carolina

Toon Phapphayboun (right), a key collaborator in this project, with her parents, Noubath Siluangkhot (left) and Khamsi Bounkhong Siluangkhot (center), at Wat Lao Sayaphoum, Morganton, North Carolina. Photo by Katy Clune'15 M.A.

Photo by Katy Clune’15 M.A.

Home in a New Place follows the Phapphayboun family as they adapt and reshape Lao traditions in the small town of Morganton, North Carolina. Home in a New Place is a research project and master’s thesis by Katy Clune ’15 M.A. The Phapphaybouns began to leave their homeland following the takeover of Laos by the communist Pathet Lao party in 1975. Toon Phapphayboun first escaped by canoeing and swimming across the Mekong River in 1980. By 2003, nearly the entire family was reunited in Morganton. Her family is now an anchor of a small community of roughly eighty Lao Loum (or Buddhist) first- and second-generation immigrants. By choosing to make Morganton their home, immigrants like the Phapphaybouns are actively shaping an evolving American South. Photography and textiles are on display.

Carolina Connections

Zubair '18 at home with his tanbor, the only item he brought with him from Syria. Photo by Katy Clune '15 M.A.

Photo by Katy Clune ’15 M.A.

Carolina Connections, a research project by Clune in collaboration with Global Relations, offers a uniquely local perspective with interviews from two UNC students, Zubair ’18 and Bahij ’17, both Syrian refugees who have resettled in North Carolina. Their narratives touch on each individual’s journey to Carolina and the impact the state has had on them. Photography is on display.



The FedEx Global Education Center, located at 301 Pittsboro Street in Chapel Hill, is open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on select Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This exhibition is sponsored by UNC Global with support from the African Studies Center, Carolina Asia Center, Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, Center for European Studies, Center for Global Initiatives, Center for the Study of the American South, Curriculum in Global Studies, Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, Global Relations and the Institute for the Study of the Americas.


Exhibition contact: Ingrid Smith, manager of events and exhibitions for UNC Global, ingrid.smith@unc.edu.

Media contact: Katie Bowler Young, director of global relations, UNC Global, kbowler@unc.edu, 919.962.4504

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