From past to present: Migration and Integration through Life-stories' network

Over the course of three years, the project is preparing lectures on the topical issue of migration, covering various experiences, including a comparison of former exiles from Latvia and Estonia and the new wave of migration. Lectures are given to international and local audiences in order to create a deeper understanding of the individual manifestations of modern social processes and their impact on society as a whole.

Coordinating institution

  • «Life-Story», Latvian Oral History Researchers’ Association, represented by Maruta Pranka, Māra Zirnīte.

Partner institutions

  • Estonian Literary Museum, Tartu, contact person: Leena Kurvet-Käosaar.
  • Department of History, Stockholm University, contact person: Maija Runcis
  • Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research, Oslo Metropolitan University,contact person: Susanne Søholt.

Partners within the University of Latvia

  • Center for Diaspora and Migration research, contact persons: Inta Mieriņa, Baiba Bela.
  • Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, contact person: Ilze Koroļeva.

General aims

  • To offer new methods for adult education and introduce the results of life-story research to a wide audience.
  • To develop a research network that will carry out comparative studies about migration processes and its consequences.
  • To disseminate knowledge about the ongoing processes of migration and integration from past to present.
  • To integrate target groups into the process of life-story research and learning.

Target audience

  • Representatives of cultural and educational institutions who prepare lectures.
  • People involved in migration processes.
  • Students who may become potential migrants.


  • Workshops and preparation of public lectures
  • Training seminars for interviewers
  • Exchange of lecturers
  • Presentation of lectures and photo exhibitions
  • Preparation of video recordings and public lectures
  • Public events
  • Website design and development
  • Dissemination of project results

Project progress

First year: Development of a concerted training form and lecture methodology; preparation of lectures; life-story interviewing and research. During the training seminars, young people learned skills in interviewing assisted by Latvian emigrants in Sweden. Interviews with people from the latest flow of emigrants. Preparation of photo portrait exhibition «Why did we leave? Young Latvians in Sweden», supplemented with excerpts from life stories. The exhibition was shown in Stockholm, Tartu and Riga.

Second year: Testing of lectures and presentation with various audiences; preparation of video presentations for internet publications. Travelling photo exhibition «Latvians in Sweden: 1944–1990, Photographer Fricis Forstmanis», prepared and exhibited in Stockholm, Riga, Ventspils, Jūrkalne. Off-site lectures organised at libraries and museums in Latvia: Ventspils, Rēzekne, Cīrava, Liepāja. Preparation of five video lectures by Baiba Bela, Inta Mieriņa, Susanne Søholt (NO), Inese Šūpule and Edmunds Šūpulis. Interviews with the second generation of exiles in Sweden.

Third year: Organisation of the symposium «Postmemory: Memory in exile and exiled memory» and participation with presentation in Stockholm on 14–15 August 2019. Interviews with people from the latest flow of emigrants in Norway. Creation of the internet publication «Nordplus: From past to present» and Presentation of the photo exhibition «Latvians in Sweden: 1944–1990, Photographer Fricis Forstmanis» in Pāvilosta. Off-site lectures organised at libraries and museums in Latvia: Gulbene, Pāvilosta. Preparation of presentation for the «Biographical narratives, generations and migration» section of the 78th International Scientific Conference of the University of Latvia, 21 February 2020. Internet-based distance learning in life-story interview methods. Analysis of the project results and the network’s experience in collaborating and achieving the aims of the project.

Participation in international conferences

  • Conference “On the move: Migration and diasporas”, Estonian Literary Museum, Tartu, 2018
  • Symposium “Postmemory: Memory in exile and exiled memory”, Stockholm University, 14–15 August, 2019

Lectures and preparation of activities for video presentations

Up-to-date information on project activities is also available on the website From Past to Present.


Latvijas mutvārdu vēstures pētnieku asociācija