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Gaelic Athletic Association Oral History Project

Mike Cronin, academic director of the Dublin-based Boston College Centre for Irish Programmes, is directing BC Ireland’s four-year oral history project of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), which promotes Irish amateur sports and cultural activities internationally as well as throughout Ireland. As Cronin explains, to study the GAA — which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2009 — is to gain a valuable insight into the lives of Irish people.  For full story, click here.

Researcher’s to preserve Delhi’s oral history

Museums have for long recorded the tangible heritage of a city ; the bricks and mortar with which the city was built. But can a museum capture the idea of a city , or its memories ? Can a museum capture the life of a city in transition ? This is precisely what an ambitious new project sets out to do. In a possible first for India , a group of scholars , academicians and researchers from the Centre for Community Knowledge (CCK) at Ambedkar University Delhi have embarked on the Citizen’s Memory Project , a digital archive of the lives of the people of Delhi and the oral history of the capital.  For full story, click here.

Turkish young people speak out through oral history

Turkey is a country that has one of the youngest populations in the world, with approximately 20 million people between the ages of 15 and 30.  In other words, about 60 percent of the total population of Turkey is under the age of 30. Yet the unemployment rate for young people currently stands at 20 percent, almost twice the national average. Despite those facts, there are neither particular laws regarding issues involving young people nor specific policies geared toward solving their problems. Indeed, the period of youth has been seen as a “transitional period” in society.  Therefore, they put young people at the center of their research titled, “Young People Speak Out: The Contribution of Oral History to Facing the Past, Reconciliation and Democratization in Turkey.”  For full story, click here.

Museum of Modern Art, New York Oral History Project

The museum has collected oral histories for more than 20 years, but the 90 interviews in its archive primarily document “the machinations of the institution”, says Michelle Elligott, MoMA’s senior archivist, who is leading the institution’s Artist Oral History Initiative. The new project aims “to increase our understanding of artists’ ideas, intentions, working methods and specifically the materials and any sort of history or context that goes along with these products,” says Elligott. The project, which has a year’s initial funding thanks to an anonymous donor, began in the spring. If further funding is secured, the museum hopes to interview more artists on its 30-strong shortlist. For full story click here.

Skipton January 2011 Floods

A book cataloguing the photographs of the flooding of Skipton, Victoria in January is hoped to help the town’s folk bond together. Skipton and District Flood January 2011 was launched recently along with an oral history detailing the accounts of 38 people.  The book is a result of an exhibition held in March this year. The book contained 300 photos from the 3000 sent in.  Full story, click here.

Afghanistan War Portraits & Recordings

Archibald Prize winner, Ben Quilty, spent a month in Afghanistan as official war artist capturing the people and scenes around him.  They include a sketch of an Australian special forces soldier with the unmistakable 1000-yard stare of one who has seen and knows too much.  Historian Peter Pedersen accompanied the artist, recording the experiences of soldiers for the War Memorial’s oral history program.  “I interviewed a search team soldier who has been blown up twice by IEDs (insurgent improvised explosive devices),” he said.  That interview is now preserved in the memorial’s sound archive, but Quilty got something different. “Ben got what he looked like,” Mr Pedersen said. Full story click here.

“All That I Am” by Anna Funder

Anna Funder’s debut novel All That I Am, has received glowing reviews in Australia and the UK. All That I Am, which is based on real events and characters, is a masterful and devastating novel set in the early 1930s which honours the real-life bravery of those who challenged the Nazi regime. Funder’s oral history recorded with Ruth Blatt, a German refugee, is transformed into an intense story that reflects the gradual assertion of the Nazi’s grip on Germany. For full story click here.

Folklorist Dr Margaret Bennett honoured

Strathearn folklorist Margaret Bennett has been treated to a civic reception hosted by Perthshire Provost John Hulbert.  Earlier this year Dr Bennett, who is a lecturer at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, was honoured in Canada with The Prix du Québec, an award regarded as the most prestigious attributed by the government of Québec in all fields of culture and science. It is presented annually to “individuals whose creative or innovative work has contributed to the influence of Québec around the world”.  Over the last 35 years Dr Bennett has been back and forward over the Atlantic to Québec, making unique fieldwork recordings.  For full story, click here.

Oral History of Oral Histories

Michaelangelo Matos pitched The Daily a feature on the oral history boom of the last few years. He had a cultural idea: it’s happening at the same time that blogs are making first-person writing so popular and accessible. After he sent his pitch, he thought, “I should have just pitched an oral history of the oral history. Somebody’s going to do it eventually.”  For full story click here and there is a link to Matos’ story.