Settling: Exploring the human migration” is a project by British photographer Sam Ivin in collaboration with local residents of the city of Stoke-on-Trent – known as The Potteries or the city of the six villages, in the West Midlands (UK) – that tells stories of people from different parts of the world, and from the end of World War II to the present days, who have settled in this city in England.

Most of the participants in the project have been involved in workshops promoted by Sam Ivin or in individual encounters with the author. In these sessions, the participants have shared albums and particular photographic collections, have taken photographs, have used collage as a means of visual expression or have simply narrated their personal history, telling the circumstances that led them to live in Stoke-on-Trent. Not only does photography reveal itself as a fundamental element for reflecting on the places and lives that the participants have left behind, but it is also a powerful tool for creating dynamics of reflection on the present and promoting values of empathy towards the other in the community.

Looking at the personal photographic archive, we can sense the life journey of Polish WWII veteran Walerian Tyminski, the love story of Aida Haughton in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, or the career development of Spanish researcher Yolanda Gómez. Personal, economic or political circumstances that move people from one place to another, creating new opportunities for migrants and locals, favouring a cultural mix that enriches cultures.

From May 19th to September 22nd the exhibition is available at the Potteries Museum. The exhibition consists of two parts: The first is a screening of “The Settling Archive” and original photographs of the personal albums of the contributors, whose digital versions will be donated to the City Archives to preserve these stories. The second is Welcome Home, a series of diptychs by photographer Sam Ivin, made with collaborators from the archive. The images of the individuals are shown together with a portrait created by Ivin, reflecting on the experiences that all these people have brought with them to Stoke-on-Trent. The exhibition provides a space for the public to share their own stories.