Photo & Oral History

Hamid Qazvini
Translated by Natalie Haghverdian

2017-12-05


One of the questions that oral history practitioners sometimes face is how much of the photo can be used to finalize the text, and whether there is a ratio between the text and photos? Should the pictures of the narrator or those pertinent to the incident be used? Should his image be recorded when recording memories?

In the past, historians were more likely to use the text and written documents, which changed considerably with the advent of oral history. For example, through oral history, information and new aspects of historical events were discovered for researchers that they had previously neglected. In the course of this process, in recent decades, pictures have been considered by some historians as one historical data. The important point is that an image can provide multiple data to the researcher. For example, the clothing, the architecture of buildings and structures in the picture, food, the state of individuals, etc. are all important.

If in the new era, with the help of a variety of imaging devices and the development of mass communication tools, pictures have played an important role in the life of the people and the generalization of many issues, it is natural that it cannot be neglected in historiography.

Obviously, the narrator has memories around every picture or image that must be received accurately and thoroughly. Some images might also help stimulate the narrator's memory. In addition, some of the images in the personal archives of the narrators can be unique in nature, and accordingly not using such pictures or images is negligence.

 

Individual & Group Photos

Traditionally, narrators have pictures of themselves or others that are related to part of their lives and memories. The use of these images represents a part of the past and will be effective in completing the information related to the narrator. But it is imperative to gloss over these images and insert them in the appropriate place, with sufficient insight into the book.

 

Pictures of Locations

Another part of the pictures relates to places where the narrator has been present or has information about them. The use of these images can also be part of the past when it is tagged and inserted accurately.

 

Photo Glossary

It is necessary to get the exact details of each photo from the narrator. What exactly, when and by whom was the photo taken, why the location in which it was shot is this, why people are in this state, what the attendees had, what the exact location is, whether there are other images of this place, and other questions that each can complete part of the pertinent aspects of the subject.

 

New Images

The last recorded image of the narrator shall be attached to the interview in order to determine his general appearance during the interview. Even some interviewers try to capture images in addition to the narrator's image, from the interview place and some environmental features associated with the narrator, so that, if necessary, it can be used to analyze the narrator's interviews and narrations and understand his attachments.

 



 
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