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Living with the Past
Volume: 30, Issue: 2 (2002)
No Place like Home: Recording the Struggle for Housing and Work under Apartheid
As part of a research project exploring the interrelationship between home-based income generation and housing conditions, detailed interviews were carried out with low income dwellers in Pretoria, South Africa. Drawing on extensive extracts from the transcript of one of these interviews, this paper analyses the destructive impact of apartheid on everyday activities and offers insights into how black people are attempting to overcome this legacy and take greater control of their lives.
Author(s): Peter Kellett, Mary Mothwa and Mark Napier
Keywords: South Africa; Apartheid; Home-based enterprise; housing conditions

Recapturing Distant Caribbean Childhoods and Communities: The Shaping of the Memories of Jamaican Migrants in Britain and North America
The memories of family and community in the childhood of Jamaican-born migrants to Britain and North America, recorded for a project on transnational Jamaican families, are considered in terms of themes and reshapings which suggest the influence of migration on their testimonies: and in particular, the development of family myths of origin, and the stress on communal harmony and mutual aid.
Author(s): Paul Thompson and Elaine Bauer
Keywords: Jamaica; migration; family myths; race; memory

A Passage to England: Oral Tradition and Popular Culture among Early Punjabi Settlers in Britain
This paper explores the little-known literary expressions of Punjabi life in Britain by means of a composition by a factory worker, Mr Madho Ram of Wolverhampton, a Punjabi immigrant in Britain. Through this long poem, Madho Ram narrates what seems to be his own life experiences conveyed in the typical style of a Punjabi qissa. The paper argues that, besides throwing an insight into the life styles of pioneering Punjabi immigrants to Britain, this qissa captures some elements of popular culture of British Punjabi life. While confirming a stereotypical imagining of Britain by Punjabis as a land of riches, this composition also offers a brief commentary on the dilemmas of Punjabis abroad. The paper highlights the poem's value as an oral narrative and places it in the context of understanding early Punjabi migrants' social and emotional worlds amidst the harsh reality of hard labour and an unfamiliar English life.
Author(s): Darshan S. Tatla
Keywords: Madho Ram; Sikhs in Britain; Qissa; workers' songs; popular culture

Listen to Me! a Question of Ownership
This article questions the rights of outside bodies and authorities to prevent people under their care from telling their life stories, while confronting ethical issues of responsibility and about the control held by both outside bodies and interviewers over their interviewees. It does so by charting the story of Hyacinth, an interviewee with memory loss, and the struggle the Living Archive had with authorities to include her life-story within their recent publication, Listen to Me, a work containing life-stories of people with memory loss and early-onset dementia.
Author(s): Noel Menuge, Sue Quinn and Sue Westell
Keywords: memory loss; ethics; life histories; social work; autonomy; personal right

Collecting Personal Accounts of the Lewes Floods of October 2000
This paper describes the origin and progress of the Lewes U3A Oral History Group, a small amateur group, which documented the Lewes floods of October 2000 with inter- views with flood victims and emergency services workers. The paper discusses methods and results, with some extracts from interviews. It concludes by considering some of the differences in interviewing about the immediate past as compared with the more usual experience of inter- viewing about the relatively distant past.
Author(s): Joy Preston
Keywords: Lewes; flood victims; emergency services; University of the Third Age

Public History
Conflicting Histories: Approaching the Ethnic History of Ireland
In Ireland, popular versions of history, found predominantly in the oral tradition, reflect the political and other interests of nationalists and unionists. This article explores two broad responses to these historical traditions. The first is the so-called revisionist approach found among many professional historians, which seeks to replace the 'myths' of nationalists and loyalists with versions of history informed by critical scholarship. The other is a multiculturalism that acknowledges the importance of the diverse intellectual traditions found among one's informants and the general population. A middle course between these approaches can try to be truthful, without being over-eager to criticise popular tradition nor attribute blame.
Author(s): Anthony D. Buckley
Keywords: Multiculturalism; positivism; ethnicity; Ireland

Talking about Technology: One Experience of Heritage Lottery Funding
Author(s): Frances Cambrook

'All or Nothing': Current and Future Recording Technologies for Oral History
Author(s): Peter Copeland, Barry Fox and Rob Perks

Night of Stone: Death and Memory in Russia
Author(s): Catherine Merridale

Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Reflections on Death and Dignity
Author(s): Studs Terkel

Old Age in English Society: Past Experiences, Present Issues
Author(s): Pat Thane

The Politics of War Memory and Commemoration
Author(s): T. G. Ashplant, Graham Dawson, Michael Roper

Feminism and Autobiography: Texts, Theories, Methods
Author(s): Tess Cosslett, Celia Lury, Penny Summerfield

Like the Night: Bob Dylan and the Road to Manchester Free Trade Hall
Author(s): Paul Kelly

Dear Francesca: A Cookbook with Love
Author(s): Mary Contini

London's Voices

Oral History at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery