Children’s stories of self and migration in the Global South and North

  • Kaneva, D. (Speaker)
  • Shannon Morreira (Contributor to Paper or Presentation)
  • Rose-Anne Reynolds (Contributor to Paper or Presentation)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


This paper explores children’s perceptions of self and migration in global contexts through storytelling. Children from two primary schools in Manchester, UK, and Cape Town, South Africa, developed stories of self through object elicitation, poetry and self-made artefacts supported by an artist and storyteller. Within childhood studies, children are positioned as agents and competent beings, yet this positioning is interpreted through the adult gaze of what it means to be a child (Thompson 2017). This is pertinent for children who have experienced migration as bystanders, as was the case of participants in both countries. We utilised stories as a method to forefront the children’s authentic voice. We employed Haraway’s ‘lady bag storytelling strategy’ (Taylor et al. 2013) combining objects that the children brought from home, drawings and artefacts and exploring the significance of the ordinary everyday encounters between these and the children. While the children’s storywork captured their individual perceptions of self, the collections of objects, drawings and artefacts reflect ideas about what it means to be a child today in a world where human and non-human are entangled together. Children were encouraged to trace the history and prior ‘lives’ and ‘encounters’ of their objects prompting active engagement with the ‘other’ in their stories (Haraway 2008) and aspects of migration. We explore children’s stories in relation to belonging and more-than-human connections. However, we acknowledge that the interpretation of the ‘final’ stories is difficult if we assume that they are complete, rather we accept that the stories continue to change and develop.
Period11 Jul 2023
Event titleThe Suffolk Storytelling Conference
Event typeConference
LocationIpswich, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational