Oral History in Times of Change: Gender, Documentation, and the Making of Archives
Cairo Papers in Social Science Vol. 35, No. 1
Challenges, opportunities, and methodological issues in the creation of oral history archives in the Arab world
Oral history archives have always been at the forefront of liberatory social movements in general, and of feminist movement in particular. Until the end of the twentieth century in the Arab world, archives of women’s oral narratives were almost non-existent with the exception of small documentation efforts tied to individual research. However, since 2011, there has been a marked increase in the documentation of projects.
In this context, the Women and Memory Forum organized a conference in 2015 about the challenges of creating gender sensitive oral history archives in times of change. The papers in this collection shed light on documentation initiatives in Arab countries in transitional and conflict situations, in addition to international experiences. They engage with questions around archives and power, the challenges and opportunities presented by new technologies to the making and preserving of archives, ethical concerns in the construction of archives, women’s archives and the production of alternative knowledge, as well as conceptual and methodological issues in oral history.