Migrant Connections is an oral history project that connects immigrant and refugee communities in Greece and Utah, United States to share stories of resilience, joy, and struggle. Migrants in Greece share stories of daily life and activism with students in the “Borders and Migration” course at the University of Utah. In turn, these students share with the Greece-based communities stories that they themselves gather from immigrants and refugees in their own families and communities in Utah. These stories are collected here in the form of oral histories, recorded interviews that share historical and ongoing experiences.

Protestors at the Salt Lake City International Airport in January 2017.

Mass displacement is a reality borne from many interrelated factors of our time: global capitalism; policies of neoliberalism, austerity, and corporate greed; war, political instability, and persecution; imperialism, colonialism, and their legacies; climate change and environmental degradation. The stories shared here touch upon some of these issues. They testify to the need for global approaches to migration which connect migrant justice struggles across the world. Greece is currently home to over 100,000 refugees and asylum seekers mostly from Southwest Asia and Africa. Many refugee arrivals initially had hopes of being resettled in wealthy European countries with the infrastructure to support them. Since early 2016, however, European countries began closing their borders to refugees in Greece leaving them trapped, unable to go back to their countries of origin yet unable to continue their journey. At the same time in the United States, attacks against immigrants have intensified in recent years with efforts to dismantle DACA, the expansion of migrant detention regimes, family separations, and continued border militarization. In spite of these conditions, the stories collected here feature immigrants and refugees who insist on their dignity and resilience in their own words.