Our Story: Preserving and Disseminating the Experiences of the Irish Diaspora in Derby
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractThis paper proposes to discuss the project Our Story: A History of Irish in Derby (2020) as a case study for examination of the production process of editing over 8 hours of content from 14 contributors into an accessible 26-minute video for online public dissemination. Our Story is an oral history project that collects and shares the personal memories and experiences of the Irish diaspora who emigrated to Derby city in the 1950s and 60s. Emigration has long been a part of Irish history and identity, and this project acts as a recognition of the social, cultural and economic contributions the Irish have made to the Derby city and region. It also offers a reminder of the diverse and multicultural make up of modern British society, while celebrating the strong links that exist between Ireland and the United Kingdom. This paper discusses the value of capturing the personal experiences of the ageing members of our population before their memories fade. The recordings therefore act as an archive and indelible record of their experiences so that future generations can understand and appreciate their experiences and contributions and use these to develop their own identities. The production and editing decisions were difficult but necessary as the producers worked towards creating an engaging work with a coherent narrative from multiple voices that would be viewed by a wide audience. This work demonstrates how important it is to be sensitive to social, cultural and historical context when examining the experiences and articulations of diaspora experiences. To offer context a 4-minute audio visual piece will be shown which offers a sample of the project and the stories for the audience.
CitationMcMahon, D. (2021). 'Our Story: Preserving and Disseminating the Experiences of the Irish Diaspora in Derby' [Presentation]. 2021 Annual Oral History Society Conference: Oral History and the Media, Online, London Metropolitan University, 9 - 10 July.
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