Photo: Jørgen Carling
Photo: Jørgen Carling

The lives and dreams of young adults in three cities are explored in the project Future Migration as Present Fact (FUMI).

Many topics in research and policy are ultimately tied to fundamental questions about what matters to people in life, but these questions are often overlooked or taken for granted.

The project Future Migration as Present Fact (FUMI) takes a different approach. It is a project about migration, but it has begun by taking a step back and asking young adults about their lives and dreams. The researchers then explore whether, and how, ideas about migration play a role. The team combines ethnographic fieldwork and large-scale surveys in three West African cities.

The video portraits present individuals who are not research participants, but who are young adults in the same locations. They seek to convey the richness of encounters with unique individuals. Personal encounters are the backbone of ethnographic fieldwork, but there are limits to how they can be shared, partly because of ethical obligations to preserve confidentiality and anonymity.

The first 3-minute video in the series presents Nora and Noreen, a set of twins who live in Ghana's largest port city, Tema. Like thousands of other Ghanaian women, they have created their own business devoted to hair and beauty. For Nora and Noreen, braiding sits alongside painting as pieces in their quest to become great artists.

Another five video portraits are planned for production in the course of 2022. The videos are also distributed on the project's Facebook page.

The FUMI project is funded by a European Research Council Consolidator Grant.