Association Génériques was established in 1987 for the preservation, protection and promotion of immigration history in France and Europe. It is a research and cultural creation organization specialized in the history and memory of immigration in France from the 19th century. Génériques is at the crossroads of the academic, institutional and cultural field. It also organises scientific and cultural activities. The association aims to establish relations between various French and European players by encouraging them to become involved in the history of immigration and to make the general public aware of the rich contribution that foreign people have made to the French and European history.


Fieldworkers in the audio-visual archives room in the departmental archives centre of Bobigny in Seine Saint Denis.

(In order from left to right : Christine, Haitham, Fugel, Sultan, Wutibaal, Zied – in back Sebastien Colombo from the Archives centre)


Odysséo portal

Genériques gathers since its foundation all available resources around the history of immigration in France in the Odysséo portal . The portal gives users access to several types of sources like: documents, photographs, musical scores, audio-visual material and links to private and public archives, The archive has been online since the mid-1990s.


Motivation for Génériques to participate in the project Specially Unknown EU

Génériques is working for a long time on oral archives and managed different projects on the heritage of migrations. Developing a new methodology for an oral history project in a cultural perspective and the valorisation at European level fits exactly in the perspective of the association in  which it likes to develop its activities. The European project Specially Unknown has given Génériques the chance to realise this. All 40 oral history interviews of refugees will be part of this online archive and complete the Odysseo portal . The experience of partners organisation BMP and the network of partners gives Génériques all the opportunities to make the project « Specially Unknown » a success in Paris. 


Participating communities in Paris

The choice of involving 5 refugee communities in the project was made in consultation with the members of the steering committee, Generiques’ network and the fieldworkers:

  • Syrian
  • Afghan
  • Cambodian
  • Congolese (RDC)
  • Bangladeshi

Specially Unknown Team Paris


Sarah Clément (Local Project Coordinator) 



Tel:  +33 (1) 49 28 57 75 


Since 2004 Sarah works at association Génériques (Paris) where she coordinates different local / European projects and is connected to different cultural and historical networks dealing with the heritage, history and memory of migrations. She studied French Language and Literature, but specialized in French as foreign language. After her study, from 1999 to 2003, she moved to Egypt and Syria to coordinate educational programs for a French cooperation. Back in France she became trainer of French for foreign people.


Sarah: “I Enjoy to be involved in projects that welcome people from everywhere. In my opinion, the cultural and artistic voice of people is very important as it is the best way to share emotions and experiences”.



Amar Nafa (Oral history Trainer) 



Tel: +33 (1) 49 28 57 75


After graduating in Journalism and Political science, Amar worked in the field of popular education, particularly on the concept of knowledge society and the public diffusion of science. He also worked at the French national anti-discrimination agency and then joined Génériques in 2013. Amar coordinates the projects of the association Génériques and is involved in several national networks dealing with the cultural diversity, history and memory of migrations.


Field workers Team Paris

•        Sultan Mahmoud Shirzad

•        Zied Hadfi

•        Haitham Karajay

•        Fuguel Khan

•        Augustin Tabo

•        Christine Huynh


List of participants in the Steering Committee in Paris

  1. Aline Angoustures (Project officer of Archives and History departement in the French Office of the protection of the Refugees and Apatrids – OFPRA)
  2. Christophe Pichaud (Project officer, City of Paris)
  3. Mathieu Tardis (Researcher, French Institut of International Relations)
  4. Fatiha Mlati (Director of the integration of refugees, France Terre d’Asile)
  5. Guillaume Nahon (Director, Archives of Paris)
  6. Elsa Mouras (Desk of the libraries and the reading, Cultural Action, City of Paris)
  7. Alexandre Favereau-Abdallah (Bureau des bibliothèques et de la lecture, Mission Action culturelle, développement et accueil des publics, City of Paris)
  8. Gregory Combet, (Direction des Affaires Culturelles, Paris)
  9. Martine Sin Blima Barru, (National Archives – Responsable of the Departement of electronic and audiovisual archives)
  10. Sarah Clément (Génériques)
  11. Amar Nafa (Génériques) – 34 rue de Cîteaux 75012 Paris – tél : 00 33 (1) 49 28 57 75