Memory Keepers – Emotions Make History

During 2016 and 2017, Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE) worked together, as part of Lella Carridi’s ‘What Happened at the Pier’ program, to create a collection of digital oral histories about people’s journey of migration to Australia.

The digital stories provide memorable insights into the personal lives, memories and social histories, and the artefacts that migrated with individuals as they journeyed with their families from distant countries to Melbourne’s Princes and Station Piers – a significant entry point for the nearly 90,000 post World War II refugees arriving in Australia.

Fourteen ‘Memory Keepers’ spoke to Penelope Lee (Education and Outreach Officer for The University of Melbourne node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions) about their objects and their family’s story of migration, as well as the emotional significance of objects that they or their relatives brought with them on this life-changing journey. In particular they describe how objects have played a key role in symbolising and cementing their interactions and relationships, both past and present.

Click once on the individual tracks below, then click on ‘View Track’ at the right hand side of each link to read a synopsis of each interview before you listen to the story.

Image: Zika Opera Glasses. Penelope Lee, 2016. Used with permission.

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