chapter  8
18 Pages

Artifacts of Resilience: Enduring Narratives, Texts, Practices Across Three Generations

ByKate Pahl, Aliya Khan

In the Ferham Families project we (Kate Pahl, Andrew Pollard and Zahir Rafiq) were exploring the artifacts of identity and narratives of migration of British Asian families from Pakistan who migrated to the UK in the 1950s (Pahl & Pollard, 2008, 2010; Pahl et al., 2009; Pahl, 2012). We wanted to celebrate the heritage of families in Rotherham and consider their achievements. We called the project ‘Ferham Families’ to signal the way in which the families were part of a local community, called Ferham, in Rotherham, and to celebrate that community. The project resulted in a museum exhibition and a website called Every Object Tells a Story ( The website included images of objects from family members and traced their life stories through everyday objects. It also included a teaching pack for adult literacy tutors and a Flash presentation where the objects fell through the digital landscape, accompanied by the spoken word. This was accompanied by an exhibition, held in Rotherham Arts Centre in 2007, where the family objects were displayed alongside their stories. This exhibition was co-curated with family members and included display cases based on long ethnographic interviews about what objects were important to the family.