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The Postcard Project: Building a Positive Narrative around Forced Migration

E Moir Common Threads Postcard
Postcard design by Elyse Moir for The Postcard Project
July 17, 2020

Stories have always been a part of us – a way for us to connect with one another and imagine ourselves in alternate realities. Paul Zak, a storytelling researcher, says that the emotional stimulation that we get from storytelling is a foundation for empathy and gives us the opportunity to be educated. 

This summer, Social Connectedness Fellow Sarah Roberts turns to storytelling to harness the power of empathy in a time of unprecedented forced displacement and much uncertainty. In partnership with Common Threads, The Postcard Project shares stories about forced migration across Canada through physical postcards and its digital platform. The project collects stories from those who have been forced to migrate and those that have been directly affected by someone who has been forced to migrate. The stories are printed alongside local artwork on postcards, which are then distributed to public locations across Canada to be given out for free. The first two postcard designs feature two Halifax based artists, Elyse Moir and Kumi Henden, and the project plans on taking public art submissions in the coming months. 

The Postcard Project capitalizes on this power of storytelling to give people the opportunity to broaden their mindset and place themselves in another’s shoes. It strives to reduce the concept of “othering”, which happens when migrants are treated as separate and disconnected from the receiving community. Sarah hopes that the project will help dispel myths, reduce discrimination against newcomers, and create a positive narrative around forced migration.

The website was released last week and is actively seeking those with stories of forced migration. You can submit a story here or check out the website

If you would like to receive postcards for distribution, please request them through The Postcard Project at this page.