Storia de nhas Pais

Podcast about the oral history project Storia de nhas Pais (‘The land of my parents’) initiated by Stichting Rotterdam Vertelt (SRV) and the study of the project by Leiden researchers from Night Spaces: Culture, Migration and Integration in Europe (NITE).




Project leader

Davidson Rodrigues








In 2014, young Cape Verdean Rotterdammers conducted interviews with Cape Verdeans who had arrived in the city between 1955 and 1975 and had built an existence there.

In 2021, Maxime Schut, a student of International Studies at Leiden University, studied six interviews from 2014. She also interviewed seven Cape Verdean interviewers on why it was important for them to participate in the project. Thus, a collection of interviews was formed on image and sound, transcribed and sometimes translated.

With the podcast, attention is drawn to this collection and to the history of Cape Verdeans in Rotterdam, but also to the importance of preserving these kinds of stories for future generations.


010nu – First generation Cape Verdeans tell story to Rotterdam Vertelt

Soul of the Reconstruction

The interviews were conducted in connection with Rotterdam viert de Stad in 2016, a cultural event around the commemoration of reconstruction, and the term ‘reconstruction’ should be interpreted broadly in this collection. For example, in addition to architects and municipal workers from the post-war period, Rotterdammers with a migration background and younger Rotterdammers were interviewed about their views on life in the Maasstad.


Initially, the aim of the Soul of Reconstruction project was not to conduct specific historical research, but to compile an audio book of the same name for a broad audience. This book consists of four CDs with excerpts from the interviews, accompanied by a short description of the persons interviewed. These descriptions have been included in DANS. 


The interviews have been deposited with DANS. The Rotterdam Municipal Archives holds the collection. The process of making the collection available online was carried out by the Erasmus Studio at Erasmus University Rotterdam. They took care of the metadata of the collection, tested automatic speech recognition and created a standard workflow for this process, so that institutions in the future will know which steps to take when they want to make interviews available for research in the Media Suite.

The interviews are almost entirely in Dutch and consist of an audio recording with an accompanying transcript. These transcripts vary greatly in quality: many of them are incomplete and some only have time indications for subjects.


Of the total of 86 interviews, not all will be uploaded at once due to privacy statements not being complete yet. This is why, for the time being, not all interviews from number 1 to 86 are online.

Stories in motion

© Arie Kers – Studio Erasmus


In progress


Project lead
prof. dr. H.C. Dibbits


Kunst- en Cultuureducatie


1 April 2021 to 1 September 2022


Research programme
Innovation and Networks (NWA)



The research project ‘(Re-)Tracing History. New Methodologies for Making the Past Tangible, Palpable and Negotiable’


Three teams of researchers at Utrecht University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Radboud University Nijmegen will develop innovative methods that make overlooked or ignored traces of the past tangible, palpable, and negotiable, in order to defuse tensions in society and enrich public debate. They will do so in co-creation with citizens and societal partners, focusing on oral histories (Erasmus University), dance and embodiment (Radboud University), and interactive technologies (Utrecht University). 


Norah Karrouche and Arno van der Hoeven’s subproject, ‘Stories in motion: oral history as sustainable data in urban settings’, seeks to develop, analyse and evaluate methods for making oral histories accessible as sustainable resources for citizens and a range of stakeholders in urban settings.


Oral history projects are generally conducted in communities which may have been overlooked by traditional archival institutions, and around issues that may fall outside the scope of many collection policies. These oral histories are often not stored or curated in a sustainable manner after projects end.

© Arie Kers – Studio Erasmus

From June 2021 onwards, Arno van der Hoeven and Norah Karrouche will develop a model for collecting and enriching oral history data, making these data accessible through standards for data interoperability, and reusing oral histories to generate knowledge on societal issues in urban settings. They will do so in collaboration with several (local) partners: Dona Daria, Stadsarchief Rotterdam, DIG IT UP, CLARIAH and Geschiedenislab.

Oral history booth



Stories play a major role in the preservation of Rotterdam’s heritage. DIG IT UP is supported by the Erasmus University Rotterdam, as a result of their ‘stories in motion’ project. 


The recording of stories will be given an even greater impulse by the oral history booth to be set up. From June 2021 until September 2022, visitors will be able to tell their stories and anecdotes about the subjects of DIG IT UP without contact. These stories will then be shared in the database and on the website of DIG IT UP.


Director Simone da Silva is pleased with the support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. “I expect to be able to attract and train new volunteers. And above all to perform our core task, the recording of Rotterdam’s city culture, even more successfully.”

Stories from the Rotterdam women’s movement

What exactly is the history of the Rotterdam women’s movement and what has it achieved in recent decades? That is the subject of the exhibition ‘Gerse vrouwen’ at gallery and heritage lab DIG IT UP.


If you want to participate, you can now register for an Oral History course. 


Series of workshops

In a series of three workshops Stories in Motion, you’ll learn the ins and outs of Oral History interviewing, and then get to work yourself. You’ll interview up to three people and process the interviews in such a way that they are findable for researchers and other interested parties.


The first workshop takes place on Saturday 16 October at Dona Daria. The second workshop takes place on Friday 12 November at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The third workshop is scheduled for a Friday in January 2022, at the Stadsarchief Rotterdam. The closing of Stories in Motion will take place in the week of 8 March 2022, the week of International Women’s Day.