The stories behind the objects migrants take with them

Dublin museum is collecting experiences as part of a European migration project

‘I have a cherished family photo of my Irish ancestors who emigrated to Australia in the 19th century. It is so important to me because when I arrived in Ireland I immediately felt at home.’

‘I have a cherished family photo of my Irish ancestors who emigrated to Australia in the 19th century. It is so important to me because when I arrived in Ireland I immediately felt at home.’

Emigrating often means shedding the past so we can embrace the future. But sometimes it’s as much about what we hold onto as what we let go.

The few keepsakes we take with us usually reflect the part of ourselves we wish to cherish, preserve or pass on. For some of us, these objects are treasured family mementos, for others, souvenirs we’ve acquired that remind us of our time overseas or our homelands. Our world is shaped by migration, as generation after generation have travelled across the globe, carrying their ideas - and their objects - with them.

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