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Reflections on Oral History Interviews from Prague Spring Refugees

As the Research Intern here at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, as well as a History and Masters of Library and Information Studies graduate, I have had plenty of opportunities to engage with historical information. Additionally, as the granddaughter of Dutch immigrants who came to Canada after the Second World War, there’s nothing I love more than hearing people’s personal histories! However, oral histories are still relatively new to me, which has made working with them that much more exciting.

Reflections on a Green Door I: New Beginnings

“I know this door”, the thought was almost overwhelming. Somehow I has been mentally catapulted back in time almost 47 years and my brain kept repeating: “I know this door. It belongs here, almost in this position, but not quite…” But, how does one ‘know’ a door?

Signs of Agency in Refugee Narratives

When people live through extreme circumstances, such as war, they face forces beyond their control. But they also make choices. In this blog, I share insights on individual agency, or the power “to change or affect events or to make choices that influence the course of history.”[1] It is important to talk about agency because of an unfounded perception that refugees have no decision-making power over the circumstances of their lives.