Debbie Ballin and Esther Johnson at The XX International Oral History Association Conference, Finland
Professor of Film and Media Arts Esther Johnson and Senior Lecturer in Filmmaking Debbie Ballin have been invited to present a paper on their collaborative research project A share of a pensioner’s Christmas ‘Bonus’ as part of a session on Histories of Childhood and Family, being held on Tuesday 19 June. Esther will also be screening Asunder.
The XX IOHA Conference focuses on the complex and multidimensional nature of oral history, and features presentations from diverse perspectives on methodological issues concerning the production and analysis of oral histories and life stories, oral history sources as narratives/narration and applications of methodological theories and practices. The conference also coincides with the anniversary of two important events in Finnish history, the centennial of the 1918 Finnish Civil War as well as the end of World War I.
A share of a pensioner’s Christmas ‘Bonus’
During the Miners’ Strike in December 1984, the Thatcher government paid pensioners the same £10 Christmas heating bonus they had received since 1972. A nationwide appeal, in several national newspapers, invited pensioners to give up their bonus in support of the striking miners. Hundreds of pounds worth of bonuses were donated to support this cause. A share of a pensioner’s Christmas ‘Bonus’ is a collaborative project exploring the remarkable acts of generosity through which many children of miners and their families were able to celebrate Christmas that year.
Asunder tells the story of what happened to an English town during the First World War, with almost all of its men fighting abroad and its women and children left behind. Asunder has a soundtrack composed by Sunderland’s Mercury-nominated Field Music and Newcastle’s Warm Digits, performed with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and The Cornshed Sisters. The narration for the film is voiced by journalist Kate Adie, with the actor Alun Armstrong as the voice of the Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette. Follow more about Asunder here.
IOHA is organised and supported by The Finnish Oral History Network (FOHN), University of Jyväskylä and the Finnish Literature Society (SKS). IOHA XX banner image – photo by Aarne Pietinen, Finnish Heritage Agency.