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Barrel Stories Project

The Barrel Stories Project is giving a voice to parents, children and caregivers affected by separation due to migration.

Made by

Lisa Harewood

Lisa Harewood

Lisa Harewood is a Bristol based media maker from Barbados, committed to telling the unknown stories of people from the Caribbean and its diaspora. She is building a practice in interactive non-fiction.

Barrel Stories is a multiplatform project documenting the emotional impacts of separation on Caribbean migrant parents, the children they leave behind, and the caregivers who look after them.

For decades Caribbean economic migrants have been leaving the region in seach of opportunity, often entrusting their children to the care of family or friends. From time to time they ship barrels filled with goods back to their home countries as a means of support for those left behind, especially their children. Children who are parented in this way have come to be referred to as “barrel children” and the effects of the setup on all involved can be complex, longlasting and generally unspoken. 

Barrel Stories was originally launched in 2015 with the support of the Commonwealth Foundation and currently consists of:

  • Auntie - a narrative short film focussing on the overlooked role of the caregiver;
  • community-based, story sharing workshops conducted periodically in the Caribbean and diaspora communities
  • an expanding online digital audio archive of first-hand experiences of separation 

Planned development includes an interactive non-fiction installation incorporating VR entitled Love and Seawater.

Each element of the project is designed to examine the challenges of separation from a different angle, inform a wider public on the issue, and stimulate the creation of a community of care that does not currently exist. 

Project blog

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