Is oral history the words of people who have not been seen?

Mahya Hafezi
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


Some are of the view that oral history is useful because it is the words of people who have not been seen. It is meant by people who have not been seen, those who have not had any title or position. If we look at oral history from this point of view, it will be objected why the oral memories of famous people such as revolutionary leaders or war commanders are compiled.

It seems that when it is said that oral history is the history of unseen people, a special point should be noted. Of course, most of the people who have been at the head of governments have had historians and usually all the matters around them have been written. People who held management positions had podiums during their time of responsibility and have expressed their words; but in the meantime, if there are things that have not been said, it is the job of the oral historians to get them from the narrators and present in the form of an oral history work.

Oral history is the history that has not been told in written form. Here, it doesn't matter if the person being interviewed is a commander and official or an ordinary person. It has no basis to say that oral history is just the history of ordinary people or in other words, the history of the barefoot. It should be noted that the memories of an ordinary person who has already expressed his words will no longer be used in oral history, they are as important as the words of a famous person who has not yet expressed anywhere in oral history.

It is not necessary to delve into the work of oral history and say that if a person has previously held a position, for example a commander or manager, etc., then interviewing him is not useful for oral history. The necessity of interviewing this person is determined by whether he has already said what he is saying or not.

Oral history is the words of the silent stratum of society; This stratum can be both among the people who have had responsibility and the ordinary people of the society. It is important that the interviewee has already neither published in a book nor stated in an interview his or her words about the subject of the interview.

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