This is one of four archives that is part of York University's Academic Innovations Fund (AIF) Digital Humanities and Social Sciences (DHSS) project. Throughout the project, we have learned how to digitize material, create metadata, and learn how to use digital platforms such as scalar. The purpose was to have our exhibits be templates for undergraduate students to present assignments in a non-traditional academic format while maintaining academic integrity.
The photographs in this collection were donated to York University by the Toronto Evening Telegram, a newspaper publication which ran from 1876 to 1971. The photos that are in this particular collection revolve around the theme of refugees, migrants, and displaced peoples between the late-1930s to the mid-1960s.
Throughout my political science degree, I came to develop a specialization in international peace, security, and human rights; and in this particular project, I was able to create an exhibit to show the connection of those fields, specifically the connection between human security and human rights by using timelines and maps.
Originally, I was only interested in the political aspects of the photos; what were the political conditions of the home countries that led to mass expulsions; how did Cold War politics play into any of this; what were some possible events that precipitated modern refugee crises; I wanted to see how individual refugee/displacement citations were connected to one another, temporally and spatially.
Although, the more involved I became with the actual photographs, learning how to handle them carefully, how to honour the captions the Telegram staff created, I became very interested in the language that was used to describe the people in the photographs , and how the photographs did not represent a "typical" refugee.
To see the other collections part of the AIF DHSS project, follow the links below:
"Playin' Mas, Play and Mas | A Pedagogical Journey of Children in Caribana, 1970-1974."
"Popular Education in Revolutionary Times: Reflecting on Nicaragua's Popular Education Program in the 1980s."
"The Making of a Digital Archive, by a Non-Archivist."