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“Finding Our Way” brings together scholars from Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, and Euton Daley of Unlock the Chains Theatre Collective. Through this cross-fertilization of distinct areas – theatre/performance, archival history, digital storytelling, and museum studies – “Finding Our Way” seeks to reclaim a history of Afro-Caribbean Oxford through contemporary performance, storytelling as historiographic methodology, and the reterritorializations of carnival across public spaces that extend from the city centre to Cowley Road. We understand the process of mapping Afro-Caribbean movements in Oxford entails a dialectic between interactions with troubled and violent institutional archives and collections on the one hand, and the rematerialization – through storytelling and public performance – of the individual and communal stories these archives (fore)tell. To this end, live performances at key locations in the city centre will be used to redraw an Oxford city map that focalizes Afro-Caribbean experience, past and present. Accompanying workshops will invite participants and local-community members to develop narratives through community history, archival material, and storytelling. In further stages of the project, the aim is to continue developing this digital, interactive map as a platform to facilitate participative archiving and decentralised, pluralised knowledge production.

The project is connected to Oxford & Caribbeanity Now, a project funded by the University’s van Houten Fund, and based at TORCH.