MaMuMi Music Storybook
Mapping the Music of Migration (MaMuMi) was a project to compile musical stories of
migrants, detailing their experiences of music and migration to provide a more human and
relatable image of the group of people which in media often is portrayed in rather distant and
The Music Storybook contains all the musical stories that were gathered during the project
and which are now available online for interested parties to listen to. They are anonymized,
but recount personal experiences and approaches to music which the listener might share,
find relatable or find novel and interesting, as music is often deemed one of the most
common things to all humanity.
MaMuMi - Song stories
1. Challenge Tackled
As migration often is discussed in negative terms and migrants face
negative portrayal in the public discourse, the stories aim at a different
more human portrayal.
2. Target group, beneficiaries or clients
The stories are aimed at natives of host countries and benefit both
them and migrants.
The project has created a collection of “song stories”, which detail
musical experiences migrants had and which they connect to their
personal history. This allows natives to connect on a more personal level with migrants and add a human perspective to the concept of
migration in their minds.
While the sharing of migrant experiences is not new, the stories are
based on music as a common ground to bond on. As people often lack
migration experiences to understand on a personal level the struggles
of a migrant, music is something many people, migrant or not, have
already experienced and have an interest in, making musical
experiences interwoven with migrant experiences more relatable.
5. Unique Selling Point
The song stories provide an intuitive and easier way to connect with
migrants and their experiences as humans and can thus help reframe
the concept of migration in common perception. As these stories are
hosted online, they also are easily accessible.
The story book has been made publicly available, but also been
promoted across multiple countries in Europe. The method has
received great feedback from users in its ability to foster empathy for
migrants. Methods to record and work with song stories also have been
developed and promoted via workshops as part of the project.
There has been an article published on the MaMuMi song stories in the
European Journal for Cultural Studies (EJCS), to analyse in greater
detail the method and provide scientific context.
The methodology behind the song stories was easily implemented with
some technical expertise on recordings and how to promote and
distribute the stories. Due to the universality of music, this might be
useful also in other similar cases to create bonds, be it via song stories
or just musical work.