An interesting approach as oral history becomes more aware of the value of the moments without words.

Follow this link to read of an interesting development in the practice of oral history, one of the strongest ways to allow the voice of the participant into the discussion. The author’s approach expands the scope of the practice of oral history to one where the language of non verbal communication during the interview is not translated but is understood.

In this article/essay Dalrún J. Eygerðardóttir, an Icelandic filmmaker, historian, feminist and oral historian locates the significance of the silence in interviews with a number of former rural housekeepers as the expression of a deep sorrow. The author concludes from the context and repetition that the sorrow is expressed by silence and it is up to the interviewer to acknowledge, feel the texture of the non verbal communication and keep still verbally and bodily to hold this expression of sorrow.

Image Raindrops on the water surface, taken from down below. Johannes Sturlaugsson from the article by Dalrún J. Eygerðardóttir ‘Documenting Tears” published on line in The Oral History Review Link at the top of this post.

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