Oral History Essay, upon memory used on televisionPosted: December 12, 2013
I am writing you with the fond news of my essay subject. In the beginning of January I will give Graham the pleasure of reading how memory is used on television. (If one of you wants to read it as well, I can send you a copy off course!)
First, I will introduce Oral History, as it is ‘a new kid on the block.’ Than I will expand upon the advantages and disadvantages of the use of Oral History. Next, I will dive into memory and ‘truth.’ To clarify this I will use one or two case studies as television programmes. My hazard is always that I get lost in the details, that I want to tell everything about the most minor things.
I will use memory, because to me, it is the most interesting part of oral history. The selective memory tells a lot about a person. What are the silences, what does someone remember and why? And especially with editing, the television is a medium that uses and abuses memory for the good and the worse.
Oral history gives insights into the daily life of people, makes history more social. But it is contested terrain because of the memory. Memory is not traceable, and sometimes not factual. Does this mean it is unusable for a historic research?
And to conclude, I agree with Christine. How I enjoyed the experience of producing an oral history interview as well! Thank you, Graham.