Tell your story

If you have a story to share we would love to hear from you. Send an email to submit@barrelstories.org. Give us a call or send a text to our Barbados number +1-246-257­-0462. You can also send us a private message via Facebook or Twitter.

We interview you and record only your voice. You have the option to participate under your own name, a nickname or to be completely anonymous. You can also provide us with a photo or some other treasured memento (postcards, letters etc) to accompany your story. Your story is then shared as part of our project. We are happy to speak with you ahead of time to answer any questions you may have about the process. You can also take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions below.

The aim of sharing these experiences is to begin a conversation. Many contributors tell us that it was a useful way come to terms with a difficult period of their lives or approach the topic with a family member. Migrant parents do not often share the very difficult circumstances that they may encounter in a new country. Their children did not always feel entitled to say how decisions affected them even after decades have passed. Caregivers may not generally thought of as an important part of the equation. We want to bring all these perspectives together in one through your stories. Ultimately we hope to help a new generation of parents, caregivers and children decide the best way to handle separation caused by migration.

We value your contribution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the people behind this?

The Barrel Stories team is the same small, dedicated team who made the film, Auntie – Lisa Harewood and Ian Smith. You can read more about us here. We live and work in Barbados.

What kind of stories are you looking for?

Right now, we are focused only on the Caribbean and Caribbean people living elsewhere. We want to speak with you if:

  • you are a mother or father who migrated and made the choice to leave your child behind in the care someone who was not their biological parent
  • you were once a child whose biological parent(s) left the Caribbean to live in another country, leaving you in the care of someone who was not your biological parent – an aunt, a grandmother, an uncle, a member of the community.
  • you were once a child who was sent by your emigrant parents to the Caribbean to be cared for or educated temporarily and then returned to your parents.
  • you cared for someone else’s child while his/her biological parent(s) moved to another country.

What happens when I contact the Barrel Stories team?

We will speak with you to determine whether your story is suitable for inclusion in the project. Together we will help you decide how best you can tell your story. We can interview you or you can simply have a conversation with a friend or family member while we record. We’d also love to have an image to use with your recording – it could be a current or childhood portrait, a drawing, postcard, letter, or photo of a significant object.

You may want to show us a photo of yourself on arrival in a new country and describe what you were thinking. You may want to tell us something wonderful you remember doing with your caregiver, a special meal or ritual. You may want to go into detail about how that time affected your life or your family dynamic. You can be brief or you can be detailed. All of it helps to bring understanding and all of it is welcome.

We take the recorded interview and we edit it for clarity and to make is a reasonable length. This editing will not change the story’s essential content.

Do I have to use my real name?

You can use your entire name, part of your name, a nickname or you can choose to remain anonymous. Whatever feels right for you. If you choose to remain anonymous, we will maintain your confidentiality.

How will my story be used?

The material we gather will be uploaded to our website www.barrelstories.org. People will be able to access the website from anywhere in the world to listen to the stories. At some point in the near future we also hope to create an exhibition which will travel around the world. Your information and material will NOT be used in any commercial way, sold or used as the basis of a film. The copyright in your story, photos, artworks etc remain yours. There is a simple agreement you will need to sign in order to give us permission to share your story as part of the project.