The battleground of remembering

I’ve just discovered a engrossing two-part BBC World Service documentary on ‘oral history’ and how the process of getting everyday folk to relay their memories of important event often challenges the authorised memories of official history.

The programme makes an interesting distinction between public memory, the authorised version of events; individual memory, that we each hold inside us; and collective memory, the process by which we collectively negotiate what we believed happened.

Oral history gets individuals to recount their memories of events, but focuses much more on lived experiences and opinions than names and dates, although can be unsettling to official histories when they contradict politically convenient narratives.

Link to two-part Memory Wars documentary.

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