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Diaspora, migration, and mobility-engaged museums are a growing sector amongst global cultural institutions. These museums play a significant role in shaping understandings of migration and representing diaspora identities, cultures, and experiences. Through their work, they also serve an increasingly diplomatic function in fostering mutual understanding amongst various groups and communities. At a time when migration is increasingly contested and politicized, the work of these institutions has never been more pressing. This report presents a global survey of the work of diaspora, migration, and mobility-engaged museums. Our study focused on understanding the sector, including the range and scope of institutions and their approaches, as well as their social and diplomatic impacts. This report shares our findings, which include an assessment of how diaspora and migration are defined in the sector, a typology of museums, their representational strategies, and an analysis of the cultural diplomacy work of these museums. Our research demonstrates the ability of these institutions to unsettle traditional understandings of culture and identity as bounded, singular, and homogenous and to foster narratives that bridge local and global connections.


As a companion to this report, see the ArcGIS map "Global Routes: A Map of Diaspora, Migration, and Mobility-Engaged Museums."

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Citation of this paper:

Erdogan-O’Connor, S., Ferrucci, G., MacDiarmid, R., Piccolo, J., Priewe, S., & Smith, S.E.K. 2023. “Between There and Here”: Surveying the Global Work of Diaspora, Migration, and Mobility- Engaged Museums. Western University.