The IAAB Oral History Initiative: Record Your History
As the Iranian diaspora community continues to grow, deepens its roots in new homes, and welcomes recent arrivals from Iran, there are a plethora of stories from vast experiences that remain untold and unrecorded.
IAAB is one of the main organizations in the Iranian diaspora that truly works across borders with communities around the world. In collaboration with local diaspora communities, IAAB has encouraged individuals and organizations to record and gather the stories of our diverse communities. In addition, IAAB has worked since 2006 to encourage our youngest generation to understand the importance of storytelling and oral history though IAAB's Camp Ayandeh and Camp Javan, and has highlighted the work of amazing storytellers in our communities through The IAAB Conferences since 2004.
We'd like to encourage our community members to record their own Oral Histories, be they about migration, or experiences of the political, social, and economic upheavals of Iran's recent past, or social history and popular culture.
How to create your own oral history project:
- Brainstorm the topic you want to focus on.
- What is the ultimate goal of your project? (Examples: A private family archive; a public transmedia project on the internet; in collaboration with ongoing oral history initiatives in the community, etc)
- Do research on the history out there about that topic.
- Decide how you want to record your oral history (audio, video, photography + audio, etc.). Depending on this, get the right equipment. There is a lot of expensive equipment out there, but you have to see what makes the most sense for what you are trying to accomplish. You could audio record the interview with good apps on your smartphone, get a digital recorder, or film it. Either way, we recommend that you use a microphone when available, for sake of quality of the recording.
- Create a list of questions.
- Pick the location of the interview.
- Conduct the interview.
- OPTIONAL: Transcribe the interview. Transcription takes a long time, but is useful as a form to back up your interview, as well as if you ever want to give access to your oral history archive to researchers and/or film and media makers.
It is very important to keep in mind that you may need permission and copyright forms for your interviews.
For more detailed information on all of this, including how to create your question, we found the following guides useful: