The Center of Oral History is a joint project between the Novosibirsk City Museum and the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SD RAS).
The Center’s curator is Evgeny Antropov.
The Center of Oral History was established in February 2011.
The Center will collect oral histories from the city’s residents. The collected materials will be published on the museum’s website, www.m-nsk.ru, and through media partners with the project. The Center is also planning to publish books and make films. In addition, the citizens’ oral stories, supplemented by photographs, original documents, and everyday objects, will be used in the museum’s exhibition projects and in developing new sightseeing tours in Novosibirsk.
What are residents of Novosibirsk saying?
It is clear that many people today have something to say about this prominent Siberian city in which they live, as both young people and the older generations want to express themselves. Younger people are actively discussing different aspects of daily life in the city on city website commentaries and on social networking sites, and the older generations, as a whole, are readily sharing their own recollections, memoirs, and family archives.
It is possible to learn about the history of Novosibirsk from books on the city’s past. However, only the city’s residents can talk about the community’s past and present daily life. As a matter of fact, the Center of Oral History provides a way for people to be direct participants in forming an urban community that is a self-organized, clear, and comfortable living and working environment.
We would like to get information to reflect upon the concepts of Siberian character- the city, or, more specifically, the identity of Novosibirsk. In practice, oral history is the living testimony of people who have connected their fates with the city. The descriptions of material life, culture, and worldviews are necessary “colors” that complement and animate the image of the city, helping to paint a “portrait” of it in the early 21st century
Novosibirsk is a city of immigrants, a city that is changing all the time. The population is young and dynamic- so much so that the layer of a native citizenry here has not been formed yet. Accordingly, the Center’s subjects of attention should be the history of immigration, adaptation, the subsequent daily life of people of different cultural backgrounds throughout the 20th century, and their behavioral and social norms. These elements collectively formed the everyday cultural standard of city life, which we continue, and add on to, today.
Oral history, on a generalized level, is perhaps able to illustrate a pressing and relevant topic for our country in the 20th and 21st centuries- the relationship between the old and the new, modernism and traditionalism. How did the relationships towards the state and government, work and family, estate and prosperity, and civic initiative and social status change? How did the cultural dynamics over the last 100 years go, in terms of personal identity and family, as well as rural and urban culture? Finally, what are residents of Novosibirsk saying today?
Do you have the answers? Do you know an interesting story? Would you like to express yourself? We are waiting for you in the Museum in the City of Novosibirsk.
Telephone: 222 67 42
Evgeny Antropov: 8 905 094 60 75
VKontakte: (marked as “The Center of Oral History”): http://vk.com/muzeinosibirska