In this 22-minute film Erin Jessee and Hayden Lorimer discuss how the two methods have a number of points of connection but also have some differences in how the research process is approached. They note how they have a common interest in living memory, and agree that their different ways of accessing and reporting on what people remember about the past share a concern to take us beyond official narratives. This is especially important where histories involve difficult subjects, as is the case in post-conflict situations. It is also important to bring out connections between different elements of people’s lives that are significant to them but that may be missing from the stories currently available in the public sphere. Both approaches require careful listening to what people say and how they say it, but they also have a place for prompting, such as through the use of photographs and other visual materials, collage-like. And both require careful consideration by researchers to how they write themselves, other people, and relevant materials into the narratives that are produced, for the purposes of reporting on the past and firing the public imagination to engage with it.
Researchers in conversation: Erin Jessee, University of Strahtclyde, and Hayden Lorimer, University of Glasgow.