The statement of a problem;

Corona Oral History; Sooner or Later

A flip on personal thoughts based on information

Maliheh Kamaledin
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


This note is intended to state an issue and prelude on an idea, and it is not intended to estimate the values positively or negatively.

Passed some years of oral history’s activities in Iran and the holding of numerous and specialized meetings, there is still no comprehensive definition among the activists of this profession about the theoretical frameworks of oral history, text editing and many related issues. They are different opinion and reasons in this field.

Recently, when an uncontrollable virus entered Iran and the world, some news agencies and institutions collected memoirs and interviews with medical staff and patients who were treated, and even held a memoir writing match.

These efforts make some people to be wonder if the memories of these days are oral history.

Different answers were obtained by asking a few experts, or field research - but limited and not extensive and deep. Of course, none of the answers were one-word. For example, the views of two contemporary historians were completely contradictory. Here, the issue is raised:

- If oral history must be a distant history, can it be generalized to the present and current history?

-Do we have to wait for all aspects and dimensions of the story to be clarified and time to pass, and then be read as oral history?

-Does oral history, based on memory, have an effect on finding an answer if it is science or method?

-If these memories are considered oral history, should they be autographs or obtained from interview?

And other questions like these…

But there is a point in asking these questions and getting not-so-straightforward answers. Wouldn't it have been easier to access some of the information and to understand that time when cholera was spread, and if the people's memoirs had been published in the periodicals of that time, or if the manuscripts of the that people had been remained available for today?

Perhaps the memories, which are being collected today, will be combined in the future and used by historians, or by other individuals and institutions.

These questions and concerns were raised only for consensus on various aspects of the issue. Hopefully it will be a prelude to a specialized reflection.

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