Specially Unknown EU


Aim of the project Specially Unknown EU is to promote the participation of refugees (TCN’s) in cultural life and society through the dissemination of the results of the Dutch oral history project Ongekend Bijzonder by implementing its innovative methods (depth interviews, co-creation & cultural productions) in collaboration with partners in 4 EU cities (Anvers, Paris, Bochum, Turin) as well as to investigate and compare in 9 Member States (The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, Sweden) the way cultural participation can be regarded as an instrument for the integration of refugees in society overall.


  • Trained fieldworkers (50% women) with a refugee background in the 4 cities collect 40 life stories of refugees from selected communities. The 160 interviews will be transcribed, translated into English and made accessible in collaboration with archives.
  • Refugee communities organize in close collaboration with cultural and heritage institutions artistic presentations based on the interviews for a broad public in 4 cities.
  • Delphi panel study in 9 Member States to map the experiences with cultural participation of refugees and to develop further policies in this field.
  • European conference in Amsterdam to disseminate the results (content, methods and materials) and develop policy advice on the integration and active participation of TCN’s in social activities and cultural life.

Around 250 refugees (women, men and children) will be directly involved in activities. Around 40.000 general public will be reached. Expected results are new working relationships between refugees and cultural institutions, capacity-building of fieldworkers and refugee communities and active contribution by refugees to the diversification of heritage collections of archives and museums. Outputs: 160 interviews, 4 to 8 artistic productions, policy advice, educational material and a European database of life stories of refugees for further research.


Organization project Specially Unknown EU
The project Specially Unknown is an initiative of foundation BMP. BMP will act as the secretary and general coordinator of the project. Besides that it will offer the oral history training for the local project coordinators and trainers from the 4 main EU cities and support them during the artistic presentations. BMP will also organize the Delphi research with 9 Member States and the final European conference in Amsterdam.


See contact details project team BMP