Mahanirban Calcutta Research group


Deep Dive: Global Protection of Refugees and Migrants (2021)

Concept Note

Deep Dive: Global Protection of Refugees and Migrants (2021)

Living Archives 

1. Introduction:

The practice of building an archive requires creative thinking aboutan institution’s research agenda. Therefore, in fulfilling the core research agenda, archivists try to document the incidents and actorsof a particular period so as to help future researchers. A living archive refers to a growing and evolving repository of the events of the socio-economic and political environments which connect an institution to the realities with which it is working or intend to work. It is a collection of news clippings, videos, interviews, photographs, posters, pamphlets, leaflets, booklets, web links, etc. from different platforms that represent a specific theme of interest to the institution. The resource has to be scientifically catalogued and digitised so that it can be accessed online.

Calcutta Research Group (CRG) became interested in building an online living archive after witnessing the suffering encountered by migrant labourers during the pandemic and ensuing lockdown. The living archive on CRG’s website presently contains news clippings, YouTube videos, Facebook links and blogs on the crisis inflicted on migrant labourers by the pandemic. CRG has collected at least two hundred select items and uploaded them. To consult the living archive, please click here. CRG aims to take the initiative forward and collect more resources on the theme of migration and forced displacement, which will be scanned and uploaded on its website.

Plan for 2021:

In 2021, CRG plans to explore how the issues surrounding migration and forced displacementfeature in election campaigns in India. The researchers have started their work in different parts of West Bengal and Assam, coinciding with the state assembly elections currentlyunderway in these states. Some of CRG’s well-wishers have expressed their readiness to assist in similar research in the context of the elections in Bihar as well. The documents and digital content emerging from the researchwill be added to the living archive. CRG is also planning to organise a half-day workshop on building and maintaining a living archive in which known archivists, academicians, journalists and filmmakers will share their insights.


Researchers Research Topics Abstracts / Full Paper

Ronak Chhabra is currently a Delhi-based journalist with Newsclick, where his primary job responsibilities include writing news reports with a focus on the economy, labor law, and trade union politics in India.

COVID-19 and After: Work, Life and The Salience of Primitive Accumulation Abstracts

Plan for

One day workshop on "Living Archive"  on 21 December 2021 from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm at the Hotel Sojourn, Kolkata

Research Segment

Living Archives

Programmes 2021


Past Programmes 2020

Disseminations / Resources / Important Links

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