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Fieldwork: refugee experiences

Number of interviews: 46
Transcripts: Available

Stored at:

  • DAMS (beeldbank stedelijke musea Antwerpen)
  • meemoo (Vlaams Instituut voor het Archief)
  • (interviews beschikbaar na registratie, transcripties in Engelse vertaling)


In 2017, the museum started the fieldworker project. Field workers are people with a refugee history and/or migration background. During this project, they conducted interviews with people with a refugee story.

The field workers were close to the interviewee. They spoke his/her home language and knew the region or the home country of their interlocutor.


You don’t just become a fieldworker. We organised an intensive training in heritage methodologies and interview techniques. Our fieldworkers – Wendy Abusabal Sanchez, Andres Lübbert, Sanaa El Fekri, Wendy Kegels, Diana Dimbueni, Polina Gerelchuk, Samer Jadallah, Ursula Jaramillo, Samuel Pinillos, Vida Razavi – collected more than 30 inspiring refugee stories. The stories are now part of the museum collection. They are also the basis of a number of small and large productions, exhibitions and activities that we organise in cooperation with external partners.


Fieldwork project on behalf of Red Star Line Museum (within the framework of Specially Unknown EU project)


‘The 32nd day’, a film that one of the fieldworkers, Andrés Lübbert, made for the project. Andrés is the son of cameraman Jorge Lübbert, who fled Chile in the late 1970s. Father Jorge made a ‘silent’ film about this event in which he tried to cope with his traumas. Son Andrés made the film again, in today’s Antwerp.


Both films are played side by side in split screen mode, alternated with images from conflict zones shot by Jorge as a cameraman, and testimonies from the fieldworkers’ project. In this way, the present and the past are interwoven to form a result of a multigenerational trauma, and a hard and uncomfortable reflection on the emotional ballast of ‘the refugee’. At the same time, the film is a pamphlet about art as a means to overcome the traumas.