The series of publications created by the MoVE Project at the Africa Centre for Migration and Society continues an exploration of visual-narrative production in social research. These publications both serve as project archives, and project representations: The books have served to contextualise, frame, and represent the projects that are featured. The publications are structured around featured project work and reflections. Written by a range of voices, the reflections provide commentary on project themes, processes, and insights. The project work that is included in the books presents the artefacts and outcomes of the project participants.
Being independently published, these publications have allowed researchers to expand the project documentation, reflection, theorisation, and dissemination process beyond narrower means journal-based research. The engagements around the books have allowed researchers to test the documentation and representational aspects of projects beyond what traditional academic channels allow and acknowledge, being narrowly focussed on measurable quantitative and qualitative research output. The distributable qualities of these publications, however, have allowed some of the ideas researchers are working with to reach broader audiences: books were distributed to project participants, displayed at conferences, included in public exhibitions, and widely shared online social media platforms.
Disciplinary interest in increasing public engagement has always been a driving factor in the production of these books. While we were making the first book we knew that more project feature books would follow, all within the MoVE stable of projects. We, therefore, created an underlying design that could work as a holding and grouping device between a range of different projects, whilst being flexible enough that a featured project could stand out on its own within the project group. This approach has contributed to creating a recognisable brand for what has come to be known as The MoVE Project.
Reesarchers with the ACMS Elsa Oliveira and Jo Vearey have stood as series editors, and were important in the development of the series as a whole. The planning, design, and layout process of each publication occurred in a conversation between the series editors, and the book editors who lead individual projects, and me.