A Public Talk
on the
The Living Deltas Project
Graham Smith, Newcastle University
Thursday, Sep 21, 2023. 4:00pm.
Malgova Auditorium, Southern Labs Complex, NCBS.
Refreshments at 3:30 PM
Oral History Collaborative Pilot Project between 
Archives at NCBS 
Centre for Public History, Srishti Manipal Institute
Newcastle University Oral History Unit and Collective (OHUC), UK.
Over 500 million people globally live in and around deltas, regions that are integral to global food supplies, fish stocks, water supply, industry, trade and culture. Deltas are under threat today from rising sea levels, industrial farming techniques and pollutants. The Living Deltas Research Hub (https://livingdeltas.org/) is a leading delta science and research partnership that aims to understand what sustainable delta livelihoods look like, through coastal resilience, biodiversity, youth futures, and inter-generational learning.
This inter-generational learning component is largely through a robust oral history programme. By adopting a participatory approach, the project is exploring the relationship between ageing and the environment by listening to and learning from those who have first-hand experience of environmental change in delta regions. The project tries to promote the inclusion of the capacities, rights, and voices of older people in future research and policy on sustainable delta futures. In this talk, Graham Smith will give an overview of the Living Deltas partnership, the challenges of the intersections between scientific research, community development and oral history process, and reflections from work in the Bangladesh Sunderbans and the Vietnamese Mekong.
Graham Smith is Professor of Oral History History, Classics & Archaeology at Newcastle University, where he leads the Newcastle University Oral History Unit and Collective (https://research.ncl.ac.uk/oralhistory/aboutus/). He is an oral historian with over 30 years experience of recording and using oral history narratives across a variety of areas, including the history of health, labour, migration, ageing and the family. In all of this work, the focus is public and community-facing. He also served as the chair of the Oral History Society between 2004-2017. Graham's work includes collaborations with the National Health Service in the UK, and the Changing Families, Changing Food research programme at Royal Holloway and Sheffield. He has worked in China, Pakistan, and across the UK, including with the Roma community in London and the Ukrainian community in Bradford.