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Title: Imaging Family Memories: My Mum, Her Photographs, Our Memories
Contributor(s): Wilton, Janis (author)
Publication Date: 2011
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Abstract: Oral and public historian Janis Wilton used oral history and photography to deal with the loss of her mother, just as other essays, by Marles and Mannik for example, consider the therapeutic potential and challenges of such projects. Taking photographs of the inventory of her mother's house - creating new material memory objects (photographs) of old material memory objects (e.g. a toaster) - allowed her to find out about the manifold meanings her relatives attached to the relationships with their mother, grandmother, or aunt. As Wilton says, "We decided to photograph memories." Rather than using photographs only as triggers of memory, the need to remember also triggered the need to photograph. Family members' memories were stirred by material objects; this stimulated the desire to create photographs as durable, portable material memory objects. The photograph of Wilton's mother's old toaster is a different kind of material memory object than the toaster itself. Wilton's research, like that of most essays in this collection, shows that photographs and memory stories cannot be thought of as a one-way street. The photograph-memory relationship is not linear and unidirectional. In this photographic age, photographs are intrinsically linked with memories, they generate each other. And, like Bersch and Grant in a later essay, Wilton points to the value of oral historians creating their own photographs alongside those provided by interviewees.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Oral History and Photography, p. 61-76
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Place of Publication: New York, United States of America
ISBN: 9780230104600
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Palgrave Studies in Oral History
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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