Sheeko: Somali Youth Oral History collection
Sheeko is a collection of Somali youth stories created by and for Somali youth. During 2010- 2011, a team of University of Minnesota Somali students conducted dozens of interviews with Somalis living outside of Somalia who were between the ages of 18-25. Many of the narrators lived in Minnesota, Minnesota and London, England. The project was centered at and sponsored by the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota.
The project creators presented the project and many video clips from the interviews via a website. A cached project website dating from May 2015 (the last version of the site) is available at http://wayback.archive-it.org/5507/20150518133043/http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ihrc/sheeko/.
High-resolution video files of narrators for whom the Archives was provided release and permission forms are available through the Immigration History Research Center Archives.
Language of Materials
The cached website is available to all web viewers. High resolution video files for those narrators for whom the Archives was provided release and permission forms are available by reference request or onsite in the Archives.
According to the project creators, the goal of this video oral history project was to explore the questions: "Why am I in the United States? I am Somali, but am I really an American, Somali American, Somali British or none of those?" as these were understood to be some of the questions Somali youth in the United States and the United Kingdom struggle with in their lives. Sheeko was an oral history project based at the Immigration History Research Center, documenting the lives of Somali youth, their migration experiences and how they define their identities. This project emerged out of another web archiving project at the Immigration History Research Center, Minnesota 2.0, which documents how Hmong, Mexican, and Somali youth used Facebook to talk about identity and migration.
Somali students at the University of Minnesota initiated the Sheeko project in order to document the experiences of Somali youth. A major goal of this project was for Somali youth to speak for themselves: “By sharing our stories, Sheeko team members and narrators are involved in the writing of our own histories. Sheeko is the first archive of Somali youth stories created by Somali youth.”
Sheeko focuses on Somali youth communities in the United States and the United Kingdom and the majority of the participants were between the ages of 18-25. The goal was to have a conversation about a variety of stories about Somali youth experiences: journeys from Somalia and their early lives and themes included memories of their childhood, fleeing the violence in Somalia, resettlement in Kenya or another foreign country, traveling to the West, attempting to transition to another country, education in the West, Islam, and future aspirations for their lives.
Sheeko team members traveled to London in Summer 2011 to interview more people, as London is home to the oldest Somali diasporic community, and the project members felt it was thus important to include their narratives.
[Information adapted from the May 2015 project website, by Archives staff 2016.]
The project creators asked the IHRC Archives to capture the website on various dates between 2012-2015. The video files and administrative documents were transferred to the IHRC Archives in a number of installments between 2014-2016.
- Community life Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Social life and customs Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Somali Americans Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Youth Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Inventory of the Sheeko: Somali Youth Oral History collection.
- IHRC Archives
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding Aid in English
Collecting Area Details
Contact The Immigration History Research Center Archives Collecting Area