Migration Making Places and Making People: New Narratives of Inclusion 2018


Migration is a key issue of contemporary political and social concern, yet public debate on the issue does not always link with rich research findings, instead reinforcing polarizations and oversimplifications. What gets lost in these discussions is that migration is a key aspect of making places (cities, institutions, belonging) and making people (identities, communities, political and social structures). The Open University (OU) and Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, have a strong record of research addressing the complex and nuanced phenomenon of migration.

This project is an integrated programme of knowledge exchange activities at the intersection of arts, public policy at the local level in making places, and communities to create new narratives of inclusion. The KE activities consist of a series of symposia and learning labs including artists, academics, community and civil society organizations and local councils/ city administrations. The outcomes of these will be made sustainable through digital learning resources.

This project works with key stakeholders in the public sector at the local level, arts organisations and artists as well as other voluntary sector representatives to look at how existing narratives on migration can be challenged and how city administrations and others can use the history of migration to craft and shape new narratives, using the history of place to shape the future of communities.


Principal Investigator

Jacqui Broadhead and Umut Erel (Open University)


IAA (Impact Acceleration Account)


1) OU’s Strategic Research Areas International Development and Innovation and Citizenship and Governance;
2) The Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity, COMPAS
3) Migration Museum Project (MMP)
4) Counterpoints Arts (CPA)




CitiesIntegrationPoliciesPublic Opinion




The main activities consist of five Workshops (Aims & Objectives 1, 2, 3) at the Migration Museum Project’s current No Turning Back Exhibition (January-May 2018) and Counterpoints Arts’ Who are We Project? at Tate Exchange (21-27 May 2018).

Key themes will be:

  • How stakeholders can develop a new narrative of migrant inclusion in cities (COMPAS led)
  • Migrants in Limbo: out of place and time (OU leads)
  • Developing local activities through a national migration museum network (MMP leads)
  • Migrant families making future citizens (OU leads)
  • How can local authorities and communities harness arts to create inclusive cities? (COMPAS led)

Educational activities:

  • Co-producing material for eight thematic workshops for schools and community groups (four with MMP, four with CPA), an opportunity for cities involved in Inclusive Cities Programme to develop outreach programmes;
  • Four sessions of ‘pop up profs’ at MMP and 4 Learning Labs, produce an openlearn online teaching resource on ‘Migration Making People and Places’ (A&O 2, 4, 5).
  • Two Symposia at Tate Exchange a)‘How can we create a positive narrative on migrant inclusion in UK cities?’ (COMPAS led); b) ‘How does migration produce a new sense of community?’ (OU led). Co-produced with academics, local government, third sector and artists, these high profile events at Tate Modern will ensure visibility through media and social media engagement (A&O 1, 5).