PAPER SESSION 3 - WEDNESDAY 25/8, 9–11am (UTC +8)
P3.2 – Migration and Refuge
Zeila de Brito Fabri Demartini (Brazil) Children and Youth Between East and West: Japanese in São Paulo and Dekasseguis in Japan
We focus on the specificities experienced by the Japanese in two moments: when they came to São Paulo in the first decades of the twentieth century and when thousands of families began to migrate to work back to Japan since 1980. We privilege the oral narratives produced by immigrant subjects and their families that we obtained through interviews aimed to know the field. In the first decades of the last century, the pressure of these families for the schooling of their children was big, since they already had in Japan more structured school networks than in São Paulo, they invested primarily in the schooling of their children. Since 1908 they started an intense process of creating schools: in 1932 there were already a large number of schools (185) in the state of São Paulo and also teachers of Japanese (211) in the capital and inland. However, there was a reversal of the Japanese group in the late twentieth and early twenty-first decades, when many children and young people headed to Japan with their family, in a reverse process from earlier twentieth-century flows. From the 1980s onwards more than 200,000 Brazilian dekasseguis arrived in Japan annually. The problems of schooling of children are numerous and young people end up choosing to work, interrupting their studies and compromising a school path that would be "normal" if they had stayed in São Paulo. The priority in this flow is work and financial gain, not the educational process as a means of social ascension. In this displacement the previous social ties break and the difficulty of establishing new ones makes it difficult for children and young people to integrate both in Japan and in Brazil when they return. This back-and-forth involves life projects, cultural conflicts, family breakdowns in a continuous process of repetitive migration.
Zeila de Brito Fabri Demartini. Ph.D. in Sociology (University of São Paulo). Research Director of the Centro de Estudos Rurais e Urbanos (CERU/USP); Research of the National Council for the Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); Collaborator Professor of the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP). Research interests: methodology; oral history; social history: education, childhood and culture; educational sociology; immigration.
Keywords: between East and West; children and youth; dekasseguis in Japan; Japanese in São Paulo
Eve Wicks-Puodžiūnaitė (Australia) From Silence to Voice: Writing Compelling History through Recuperating the Exile’s Voice, Historical Photographs and Photographic Image-Making
Thousands of Lithuanians fled to Australia in the aftermath of World War Two. Their history has been silenced, unrecognised and unrecorded. This project corrects this omission through a combination of oral history and multimodal creative writing. The project focussed on the spaces of darkness that emerged in response to the twin trauma of Australia’s assimilationist policies and of the Soviet Union’s long occupation of their homes. The project emerges from decades of deep engagement with the community, involving extended oral history interviews, photography, a museum exhibition and community-based activities, as well as archival research. The result was a compelling research-led creative practice that created a multimodal book. This book interweaves oral histories and authorial expressive prose, with historical photographs and contemporary photography of people, places and items of value. Authorial prose communicates interviewees’ embodied performance. Oral history voices are brought forth in the text through design and referencing features in text essays and presentation as poetic fragments. Voices in poems and songs, reflecting oral tradition and community practice conceptually historically and culturally enhance the narrative and conjure more shades of meaning and significance for readers through the poetic form. Texts embedded in linen imagery infuse a Lithuanian aesthetic and create chambers for quiet reflection. The result is a recuperation of historical and contemporary voices for a community whose experience has otherwise been traumatically erased from the public consciousness. It has created an innovative, permanent, accessible archive, preserving the memories of a first-generation Lithuanian community at its close.
Dr Eve Wicks-Puodžiūnaitė was born in Brisbane to Lithuanian parents who fled to Australia from Soviet-occupied Lithuania in 1940. Wicks’ earliest studies and careers were in medical laboratory science and lecturing at Queensland Institute of Technology (QIT) and afterwards, in post-graduate Educational studies at the University of Queensland (UQ) and counselling university students at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Creative research projects with Lithuanians in Queensland include a major storyboard exhibition at the Queensland Museum, South Bank, Brisbane, while undertaking community history study at UQ and a MAVA degree at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. The book, Saulėje ir šešėlyje: In Sunshine and Shadow, is the creative outcome of Wicks’ Doctoral Dissertation awarded in creative writing as a cross-disciplinary scholar in History and Visual Arts – photography. Together with photographic images, it was selected as an art object and displayed in an exhibition of works of Lithuanian heritage artists in the world diaspora, in Vilnius, 1–11 July 2018 – part of Lithuania’s ‘100 years since independence declared in 1918’ celebrations. Wicks participated in the Brisbane Writers Festival, 8 September 2019, on two panels: ‘The Eye Word’, about 'how art and words can intersect to tell powerful stories’; and ‘Voices Written Out of History’, concerning ‘stories that history has forgotten’ and ‘why’.
Keywords: community history; creative writing; photography; refugee; trauma
Md. Pervejur Rahaman (USA) Noakhali Riots 1946: A Historical Memory
The partition of India in 1947 caused one of the greatest migrations in human history. In 1947, the British colonial power partitioned India on the basis of Hindu and Muslim majority. Pakistan was pieced together combining two far-apart wings of India: East Pakistan and West Pakistan. Within a short space of a few months, around twelve million people moved to newly created Pakistan and India. The wave of the partition displaced people and forced them to exchange their homes at a rapid pace. Across the India subcontinent, neighbors and communities who lived together for generations with relative love and affection for each other were caught up in unimaginable riots; the mutual respect turned into a mutual genocide.
The memories of the partition are still recalled privately and in family contexts in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh (East Pakistan became Bangladesh in 1971). This paper examines two family memories – one Hindu and one Muslim in Bangladesh, then known as East Bengal – and focuses on what type of problems the Hindu family faced during the time of riots. The Hindu interviewee shared with me that they heard girls were raped and tortured and then murdered in other places. Gandhi’s “peace-mission” gave them great relief; he came to reconciliate the communities. My interviewee also pointed out that not all of the Muslim people were accomplices in riots. There were cordial relations and peaceful coexistence between Hindu and Muslim people. The Muslim rioters targeted Hindu upper class landowners who exploited their Muslim tenants. And yet, there were also Hindu landowners who were more friendly with their Muslim subjects.
I also interviewed a Muslim, Abul Kalam, who now lives in a house previously owned by a Hindu family. He discussed how Bengali Hindus left their houses when their house burnt into ashes. As a friendly Muslim neighbor to Hindu, his perspective provides an outside observation of how the Hindus were treated during the riots. Due to the riots, all Bengali Hindu teachers also left the schools, since mostly teachers were from Hindu community. The Hindu concentrated areas slowly withered away after the riots because they could not trust Muslims anymore. This paper will give attention to micro history of riots which has not been yet discussed. Thus, the oral history would give a new narrative of Noakhali riots and the partition. Though oral history is a heavily contested area in historical discourse, I am hugely touched by how the narrator’s recollection of memories revealed both descriptive and emotional dimensions of the event of partition at a community level. In order to fully understand the impact of the riots on both Hindu-Muslim communities, it is important to gather first-hand testimonies.
Md. Pervejur Rahaman is a second-year PhD student in the Middle Tennessee State University Public History Program, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I maintain an outstanding GPA with giving concentration on Oral History under the direction of Dr. Martha Norkunas. I have completed a series of professional quality oral history interviews for the seminar of Oral History Theory and Methodology.
Keywords: Hindu-Muslim; India; Pakistan; riots