Time lines in autobiographical migration research: Lessons from an Afghan case study

This presentation is part of the IMI Seminar Series, Trinity term 2015.

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This paper explores the added value and challenges of the timeline as a participatory technique in autobiographical migration research, reflecting on a case study of Afghan return migrants. The paper shows that asking participants to draw a timeline representing the course of their lives complemented their life histories as it visually showed significant periods or turning points in their lives. Drawing the timeline can also give participants more control over their own story and enables a more participatory means of data collection. Last, since interviewing can have a negative connotation for people who went through asylum procedures, timeline drawing released the pressure from more verbal methods.