Check out the notes for the Groundswell chat I co-facilitated in October with my colleagues Maggie Lemere and Zoë West about the Belfast Oral History Project case. Discussion description below:
A broad discussion about the Belfast Oral History Project. Questions we hope to explore in the chat include: How can we ensure protection to narrators when our promises of confidentiality are jeopardized by unchecked government surveillance and the threat of subpoenas? What are some practical measures we can take about confidentiality, both as individuals and as a community of oral historians? What does the Belfast case say to the public about oral history? Could the Belfast case make oral historians overly cautious? Should there be a distinct line between oral history and journalism? If so, where is that line and how does it influence the rights and obligations of the interviewee and the interviewer? What are the ethical responsibilities expected of oral historians when it comes to crimes revealed by interviewees? What are the implications of the Belfast case for doing oral history with activists and communities who engage in civil disobedience, direct action and/or armed resistance? How can the Belfast situation be turned into a positive for the oral history community?