Braving the waves on the Red Star Line

I walk past shadowy figures muttering a cacophony of words that I can barely understand. They are carrying bundles of sparse possessions they will take with them to the New World. But it is the large photo at the end of the corridor that catches my eye. A group of emigrants, dressed in massive coats … Continue reading Braving the waves on the Red Star Line

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Luxembourg’s Ellis Island in Dudelange

We stand on the summit of a hill in sweltering heat. “This is our Ellis island,” says Nicolas flourishing his hand across the landscape. “It’s where migrants first came to Luxembourg and, indeed, still come.” But instead of Atlantic waves lapping beneath our feet railway tracks, bordered by disused steelworks, sweep towards France. And, across … Continue reading Luxembourg’s Ellis Island in Dudelange

What’s in a building? – migrants across the Channel in the National Museum of Immigration History (Paris, France)

Whoever thought of siting the Cite National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration (National Museum of Immigration History – CNHI, Paris) in the former Palace of the Colonies posed a challenge for the curators. It is undoubtedly an impressive Art Deco building from the 1930s. Intricate naked or half naked stone figures, working cocoa, coffee, cotton or … Continue reading What’s in a building? – migrants across the Channel in the National Museum of Immigration History (Paris, France)