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Migrations West to East in the Times of the Ottoman Empire

The Example of a Gypsy/Roma Group in Modern Iran

Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov

This article presents the community of the Romanies/Gypsies called the Zargar, who live in contemporary Iran. For centuries the Zargar had not been aware of the existence of other Gypsies. Only nowadays, with the means of modern telecommunications, including the Internet, have representatives of the Zargar 'discovered' that there are other Roma in the world, and they have begun looking for their place within the international Romani community. Lacking a clear memory of their own past, the Zargar are trying to construct such a history and an extended identity, while establishing contact with their 'kin' in Europe.

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Processes of Remembering and Forgetting

Tundra Nenets' Reminiscences of the 1943 Mandalada Rebellions

Roza Laptander

Each political change in the former USSR and Russian Federation has had different influences on the lives of local populations in different areas. Nenets, like many other indigenous people of the Russian North, were not tied to any political situation. The perception was that they always lived independently in the tundra using their traditional and historical knowledge. In reality, when comparing even the most recent past of the Nenets to the present, many differences and contradictions become apparent in the lives of these northern people. This article discusses the role of censorship in the transformation and performance of historical narratives concerning the development of the relationship between the state and the indigenous tundra people, here Nenets. By distorting historical facts, through exaggeration and mythologizing real-life events, people tried to shield themselves against negative emotions and memories of the past.

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Listening to the Troubled Waters

Ethnographical Work as a Reciprocal Activity

Jaana Kouri

The history of Lypyrtti, an old pilot village in the southwestern coast of Finland, is for many villagers a story of depopulation of a vital community during the last fifty years. In 2005 the villagers of Lypyrtti expressed their interest in collecting the oral history of their village. This material is gathered, edited and released in the context of research on the topic of 'narrated environment', which draws attention to the interdisciplinary methods and theories of the practices of place making

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Shahnoza O. Madaeva

This article examines the impact of social and political factors on the spiritual transformation of society. Analysing sources and field research, the study aims to present an objective picture of the spiritual and mental transformation of the Uzbek people based on the oral history method of the 1920-1930s. Using the integration method, the author seeks to explain historic facts through the prism of philosophical reflection. At the same time, the research provides an overview on the processes of self-identification and integration, as well as on the development of state policies, in post-Soviet countries.

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Aliabad of Shiraz

Transformation from Village to Suburban Town

Mary Elaine Hegland

Anthropological participant observation, in-depth, open-ended interviewing and oral history reveal aspects of social change and modernisation that have taken place in Aliabad, Iran, over more than half a century. These developments have transpired in interplay with economic, political and cultural processes. As a result of economic transformation from sharecropping and trading to urban-style jobs, and due to outside influences as a consequence of advances in transportation, communication, education and travel, villagers have been able to make other choices. Through bottom-up social and political change, relationships in all areas of life have become less authoritarian and hierarchical and more egalitarian and subject to negotiation and individuation.

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On Memory Work in Post-communist Europe

A Case Study on Romania's Ways of Remembering its Pronatalist Past

Lorena Anton

Taking the memory of pronatalism in contemporary Romania as a case study, this article is an attempt to view the national politics of memory of contemporary Europe with regard to its communist past from an anthropological perspective. From 1966 to 1989, the communist regime imposed extreme policies of controlled demography in Romania, as it was imputed, for 'the good of the socialist nation'. Profamily measures were developed in parallel to the banning of abortion on request and the making of contraception almost inaccessible. The social remembering of such a difficult past is still a taboo in contemporary Romanian society. This general lack of public remembering, which is still playing a role in the current situation of Romania's reproductive health, is influenced by the interrelations between the different forms of pronatalist memory. The analysis is based on oral history fieldwork conducted between 2003 and 2008, and is theoretically informed by the interdisciplinary field of Memory Studies.

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Have You Ever Been in Bosnia?

British Military Travelers in the Balkans since 1992

Catherine Baker

Tens of thousands of British military personnel traveled in former Yugoslavia as peacekeepers between 1992 and 2007. The settlements where British forces established their military presence and supply chain were conceptually far from former Yugoslavia's tourist sites, but military travelers made sense of them by drawing on the commonplaces of previous travel accounts and the lessons of pre-deployment training. British military travelers constructed themselves as often frustrated helpers in Bosnia who struggled with political limitations on their activities but found satisfaction in improving socio-economic relations at the level of the immediate community. For troops, long otiose periods in a stabilizing and startlingly cheap country engendered a touristic sensibility. This article draws on published memoirs and more than fifty new oral history interviews with British peacekeepers and their Bosnian employees to illustrate how British military travelers drew on, perpetuated, and changed the patterns and representation of British travel to the Balkans.

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The Living Land

Ecological Ethics of the Evenks and Evens

Anna Sirina

This article investigates people's relationships to the natural environment, or ecological ethics, in two closely related minority ethnic groups—Evenki and Eveny in Siberia. It is based on the oral histories and the experience of people living "traditionally" on the land, and also those who have settled permanently in villages and towns. The article explains what role nature plays in their lives, the cultural rules of interrelation with it, and their transformations in the contemporary world. Indigenous moral laws have not been able to protect the land and nature from destruction common in wider Russian society. Therefore, appropriate state policy is needed to protect the rights of the minority indigenous peoples of the Russian North for use of natural resources.

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Tero Mustonen, Sergei V. Sokolovskiy, Hugh Beach, and Jessica Kantarovich

, Sweden Oral History Meets Linguistics Edited by Erich Kasten, Katja Roller, and Joshua Wilbur (Fürstenberg/Havel, Germany: Kulturstiftung Sibirien, 2017), 211 pp., 12 color photos. €26.00 (paperback). ISBN 978-3-942883-30-6 Oral history and linguistics

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Online Documents of India’s Past

Digital Archives and Memory Production

Katja Müller

Historian has been taught basic etiquette and procedures for conducting oral history interviews, as well as basic video recording techniques. Everyone with Internet access can partake in the webinars; most Citizen Historians come from India or Pakistan and