Transmedia Storytelling for Transpacific Studies: Migrant Narratives from the Global South

Aarti Smith-Madan

Associate Professor of Spanish & International Studies, Director of HUA Buenos Aires Project Center, Co-Director of Latin American & Caribbean Studies


Project Description
As a Faculty Fellow, I used training and tools from The Global Lab to record and archive migrant narratives from the Global South. By putting firsthand accounts into conversation with representations of migration in Latin American and Indian cultural production, I aimed to understand the ways in which peoples’ stories converge and diverge and, more importantly, to demystify the why behind the commonalities and differences. This work strives, ultimately, to humanize migrants for the general public by using transmedia storytelling to make their narratives accessible.
Highlight of your experience
Because my fellowship term coincided with Thanksgiving break, I took the recording equipment to my immigrant parents’ house and collected oral histories from them as well as my now 95-year-old grandmother, who was a refugee during the India/Pakistan Partition of 1947. My dad was just three months old. I’m grateful to have recorded her story, trauma and all, for posterity. In a sort of convergence of both the temporal and the global, I was struck by how her mid-twentieth-century experience reflected the same trials and tribulations as Venezuelan interviewees with whom I spoke who had fled their home country more recently.