Month: December 2015

Dispersed thoughts on egodocuments

Anne Frank - 80th birth anniversary

– Image by © ADE JOHNSON/epa/Corbis

What if the refugees of nowadays, whether from Syria or any part of the globe, keep diaries that could be used for historians in the near future to tell the story of their fleeing affliction over the so called “refugees crisis”? Would they have become iconic figures of their wars and suffering? Would they have got the right to own a house in new nation? Would they have been translated in other languages? Would people cry on their accounts? There would be movies and museums for them? Would they have earned a NAME?

Just some foolish questions while reading a text that recalls what the Amsterdam historian Jacques Presser* has written in 1947 about Anne Frank [and her diary]: she was a stateless refugee when she died. As well remarked in The Diaries of Anne Frank – Research – Translation – Critical Edition project description: Around the world, many children and teenagers have read and are still reading editions of Anne´s diaries—either at school or in private. In the biography of many readers, as well as in national commemorative cultures, the engagement with the war and the Holocaust began with the diary of Anne Frank. It became a symbol.
*Presser coined the controversial neologism of “egodocument”, which at that time, was the body of sources of main interest to him: autobiographies, diaries, letters…. “those documents in which an ego deliberately or accidentally discloses or hides itself”.

Ref.:

Dekker, Rudolf. ‘Jacques Presser’s Heritage: Egodocuments in the Study of History’, in Memoria y Civilización 5 (2002), pp. 13-37.
pdf

For more publications on egodocuments, see the Center for the Study of Egodocuments and History

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Minha Pesquisa no Café História TV

Recentemente conversei com o Bruno Leal do Café História sobre a Minha Pesquisa. Primeira vez em que falo da minha pesquisa de doutorado aqui na Universidade de Luxemburgo. Bom papo sobre História Digital, História Pública, historiografia, imigração portuguesa e italiana em Luxemburgo. Mais uma vez, obrigada Bruno pelo convite.

2015. A visual epilogue

Edgardo Catalán; "Palimpsesto", Acuarela, 47x38 cms. 1998.

Edgardo Catalán; “Palimpsesto”, Acuarela, 47×38 cms. 1998.

The long 2015 year is almost ending and the feeling of retrospectives comes over, even if I (We, mortal historians) know the calendar is only a convention (but a very strong convention).

I liked this Palimpsest painting from the Chilean artist Edgardo Catalán to resume my year, but opening other windows. I came across it when looking for some visual references on mosaic and palimpsest concept, while thinking on a paper I am writing for the XIXth International Oral History Conference (2016, Bengalore). I’ve got surprised because I started to write this retrospective and I got to an article written by Sergio Rojas on Catalán’s work, which title and subtitle are/were pretty expressive and meaningful for the right moment in which I am writing this blog post. Yet, the epigraph and as well as the first lines of the text catched me in a pungent, emotional way:

to-imagine-memory

Serendipity, I thought. Not only the word of “retrospective” was there, but the epigraph on Ithaca (which I highly recalled on my first post the PhD research diary, starting this year), and the beautiful description of such an artistic work that gets to bring together, visually, all the enchanting voices of memory. And I was so grateful to Dr. Google today for giving me the pleasure of this synesthetic experience in a matter of minutes.

I enjoy the catharsis effect of those coincidences and self-identification. It is very soothing and rewarding that an artistic piece, even when the eye contact is digitally mediated, can bring you to a certain point of release.  Now I got this feeling that I should get a flight to Chile and come to meet Catalán and his painted poetics in person. Ok, one more thing for my to-do list of dreams.

By now, I just would like to share with you (who are you, my presumed readers?) this awe-inspiring piece that, somehow, resume my year, both in the sense of summarizing its multiples layers, but also the in resuming function of re-starting something that have been paused. So I hope now, after settling down at a new University, in a new Country, with new and amazing colleagues, I will be able to continue my life, smoothly, from January on, back to my sanity, after all moving stress and adaptation.

Happy “everything”, people!

E schéine Chrëschtdag an e glécklecht neit Joer!

Bonne Fête!

Feliz Natal e um ótimo Ano de 2016 para todos nós!

I wish history can keep being passionate and surprising to us in 2016. Let’s hope, mankind will do it better.

Ps: Just thinking that this image could also be a good prologue for 2016. Thanks, Edgardo Catalán! Things keep being connected ans sinergic. 🙂