POS1 — An Educator’s Perspective to Presenting Oral History with Digital Artefacts by Kenneth Koh & Nurul Amirah Ghazali
Oral history is a useful tool through which educators deepen historical understanding and develop greater empathy in learners. In Singapore schools, there has been an increasing trend amongst teachers in the adoption of oral history as a pedagogical tool, especially in support of inquiry-based investigations for the study of History.
This poster seeks to reflect on Catholic High School’s incorporation of oral history in research tasks to develop and nurture our Humanities Ambassadors (HA) and students of the Humanities Talent Development Programme (HTDP). The poster seeks to share our beliefs in oral history for cultivating greater disciplinary consciousness and begins by providing an overview of the various programmes run by the HA and HTDP to equip and apply the relevant skills for oral history research. Beyond oral interviews and eliciting responses, this poster will also touch on how the team has created opportunities for students to curate digital artefacts to share their oral history findings. Through selecting and organising evidence across historical accounts, our students come together to weave their own historical interpretations of the past and communicate these narratives in meaningful ways to an authentic audience. In the process of doing so, they develop greater empathy for the topic of their exploration and in turn think of ways in which their digital artefacts can communicate and evoke the sentiments of their audiences.
Digital artefact, curation, historical interpretations, talent development
Kenneth Koh is the Subject Head for History & Social Studies at Catholic High School. He leads a team of humanities educators in developing meaningful learning experiences that develops students’ critical thinking skills while imbuing in them a sense of purpose as a global citizen and humanities scholar. He is also the recipient of the Outstanding Youth in Education Award (2021) in Singapore.
Nurul Amirah Ghazali is the Humanities Ambassador Coordinator at Catholic High School. She designs learning opportunities for students to encourage greater interest in the Humanities, with a pedagogical focus on oral history and learning journeys.
POS2 — Iran Contemporary History Challenges by Saeideh Mahrami & Samir Ketf
The internal quick changes in Iran have been seen by the world. This is the responsibility of oral-historians to cover them - the protests in which a lot of people were killed (Dec. 2017, Nov. 2019, and Jul. 2021) - but the government’s pressure has stopped all the normal activities of oral historians to record the real stories of the people.
Also the external problems were added to all above mentioned challenges. The conflict between Iran and the USA in Jan. 2020 caused a deadly mistake and Flight 752 of Ukrain Airline aimed by war missiles.
Where is the real place of Iranian people in such situation? What’s the main role of an oral-historian in this atmosphere?
Iran, people, oral history
Samir Ketf (1975) - Saeideh Mahrami (1983)
*Electrical engineer - M.A in English language teaching.
*The council member, the representative of Asia in IOHA.
*A published oral history book “The sun of Hesar”.
*Participation in oral history conferences (with article presentation): 2012 Iran, 2016 IOHA India, 2018 Finland.
POS3 — Latvian Emigrants in Sweden in the Latvian National Oral History Collection by Ginta Elksne & Māra Zirnīte
The Latvian National Oral History (LNOH) research project at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the University of Latvia was aimed at documenting the living, unexplored experience of the nation’s people in recent historical events. The beginning of the LNOH project dates back to 1992.
Sweden is among the most popular migration destinations from Latvia. Approximately 200,000 refugees fled from Latvia at the end of the Second World War. Among them more than 4,500 refugees fled to Sweden in boats. The other wave of emigration to Sweden began with the time that followed the restoration of independence of Latvia in 1991 and continues to this day. Latvians are one of the most mobile European nations (Hazans 2003). It was one of the countries hit hardest by the crisis (Mierina 2014), resulting in unprecedented rates of emigration from this small country.
The LNOH collection is an essential resource in migration studies. The collection consists of over 4,500 life story interviews, including interviews with expatriates emigrating to Sweden after the Second World War as well as with those emigrating after the restoration of independence in 1991. The poster provides an insight into life story research about two generations of migrants in Sweden, based on the interviews collected in the LNOH collection.
Life stories, emigration, Latvia, Sweden
Mg.sc.soc. Ginta ELKSNE. Research Assistant at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology University of Latvia (Latvia). Doctoral student at the Rīga Stradiņš University (Sociology). Main scientific research interests are related to the analysis of Oral History and Biographical sources, focusing on social transformation processes in the society, migration and remigration.
Mg.sc.hum. Māra ZIRNĪTE, Researcher at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, University of Latvia (Latvia). Chear of the NGO “Life Story” (“Dzīvesstāsts”), Latvian Oral history researchers association. Main scientific research interests are related to the Oral history, especially about values in the life stories, as well as about individual, ethnic, cultural and regional identity in the life stories.
POS4 — Push-Pull Factors in Rural-Urban Migration Inflows to Saigon between 1945 and 1975: A Study Using Oral History Sources by Yuki Shibuya
This poster presents the author’s attempt to map push-pull factors in rural-urban migration inflows to Saigon from 1945 to 1975, as gathered through 45 life story interviews from 2009. Interviews were conducted in Ho Chi Minh City by the author.
Saigon, former capital of the pro-French and pro-American regimes during the first and second Indochina wars, is located at the center of present-day Ho Chi Minh City. The population dynamics and social structure of Saigon are crucial for understanding the modern history of Vietnam.
In 1943, Saigon had a population of 498,100. By 1952, that number had grown to approximately 1,600,000 people—an increase of just over 300% in less than 10 years. After the Geneva Accords of 1954, Saigon’s population continued to increase, reaching 1,840,000 by 1972. During the first and second Indochina wars, the pro-American and pro-French administrations were based primarily in urban areas, while revolutionary forces remained strong in rural areas.
Therefore, while the population inflow into Saigon was undesirable in terms of law and order, as well as sanitation, the pro-American regime tacitly permitted, or even encouraged, migration towards Southern Vietnam, especially to Saigon and other cities in the area. Instead, after the reunification of Vietnam, the socialist government introduced a strict policy concerning population relocation.
Understanding the political significance of similar population dynamics has long been a major focus of historical research on Saigon covering the period between 1945 and the 1980s. However, because of a lack of historical sources and statistical records, the push-pull factors in rural-urban migration have received relatively little research attention, and a detailed study of specific cases on the topic had hitherto been missing.
Saigon, life story interviews, Indochina wars, migration
SHIBUYA Yuki (Japan). Project Research Fellow, at Uehiro Project for the Asian Research Library, The University of Tokyo Library System. She received her Ph.D. in 2018 with a thesis on the history of Saigon City—which was located in the center of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
POS5 — A Research Design: The Present Past. Descendants of Karelian WWII Evacuees Reviving Heritage in 2020´s Finland by Pirja Hyyryläinen
In the 21st Century, the climate change, armed conflicts, and famine force people to migrate, and settle in different areas and live in cultural diaspora. In Finland, there were more than 410 000 people evacuated and relocated in 2nd World War 1939–1945 from Karelia, Salla and Petsamo areas. Approximately one fifth of the Finnish population are their descendants. However, the evacuees did not form a homogenous group, as is often claimed in national narrative. Amongst them were minorities, such as Karelian language speakers. My dissertation studies their descendants who are reviving the culture and language of their predecessors in local community colleges.
My research question is: how the forced migration is present in the aspirations of descendants of Karelian evacuees to revive the culture and language of past generations?
The expected research results will indicate how a migrated minority culture is remembered, constructed and maintained by descendant generations. In this poster I am introducing my research design: oral history and diaspora research theories, as well as “open notebook” approach. In my research I will conduct interviews with community college participants from different areas of Finland. In addition, I also analyze the material with oral history research and close reading methods. With the concept of “other knowledge”, I intend to equalize the descendants’ voices with the official institutional narrative. My research will add a multifaceted perspective to the national narrative about one diasporic minority of immigration background.
Migration, identity, Karelians, national narrative, revitalization
Pirja Hyyryläinen, PhD Researcher of Ethnology and Anthropology, is currently working on her dissertation at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her research interests include oral history, silences and breaks in intergenerational heritage transfer, revitalisation, empowerment, and social media. In free time, she enjoys writing scifi and fantasy stories, doing handicrafts, and cooking.
POS6 — Surviving WWII and the Japanese Occupation in Malaysia by Cheryl Nicholas
In “Recording Our ASEAN Heritage,” a 1992 colloquium, sponsored by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a call was made for regional projects on oral histories with focus on the Japanese occupation of WW II. This three-and-a-half-year period of Japanese-occupied Malaya (1941-1945) is argued to represent a significant transition in Malaysian history in general, and in the lives of Malaysians in particular (Kratoska, 1997). Since the 1992 colloquium, there has been some attention given to Malaysian WWII historical narratives (for instance, Lim & Wong, 2000 and Huen, et. al., 1998); however, most of the research has been to supplement historical texts. Until recently, there has been little or no work that focused solely on Malaysia WWII survivor stories, where the stories themselves are central to the project. WWII, stories about the Japanese occupation were usually relayed by word-of-mouth; but as survivors grew old and passed on, so too did their stories. The few exceptions have been prisoner of war (POW) accounts (e.g., Chapman, 2003; McCormack, 2005), or stories about war-heroes and spies (e.g., Sahid, 1995; Spearman, 1954).
In recent years, however, there has been a stronger effort to collect, conserve or make accessible as historical accounts, the stories of various WWII survivors (see RAGE-multimedia, Roots.sg). This project contributes to this small yet growing corpus of work. Twenty-five oral history interviews were conducted (audio-video) with 80- to 95-year-old Malaysian survivors of WWII. Participants of both genders represented diverse ethnicities. The interviews, conducted from 2013 to 2018, focused on everyday living during the Japanese occupation in Malaysia, from attending Japanese school and struggling with rations, to escaping mercenaries and dealing with executions and war-trauma. This presentation analyzes these overarching themes in the stories and considers ways to disseminate the stories to current generations in Malaysia.
Malaysia, WWII survivors, storytelling
Cheryl L. Nicholas is an Associate Professor of Communication Arts & Sciences and Global Studies at Penn State Berks, USA. Her research is based on how symbolic activity constitutes and is constituted by cultural worldviews. Theoretically, her work is grounded in language and social interaction, and critical perspectives.