“There is a lack of teachers in Austria at the moment. I was told that without Austrian citizenship I wouldn`t be allowed to work nor be registered. Although Austria had financed my studies – I didn`t pay anything – I was not allowed to work. I found that stupid.”
This story of Tatjana is one of 18 interviews done between May and July 2011 featuring people who do not come from Graz, Styria originally. Leaving, Arriving, and Being here. These are the topics which are being high-lighted in the course of the project HIDD – Hidden Histories. The process of achieving and disseminating results, of learning from each other is as – or even more – important as/than the final product.
The interviews are the results of a process that has started in December last year and is still ongoing. 6 interviewers – Marina, Maggie, Diana, Larisa, Ivana und Mario, who do not come from Austria originally – were employed by inspire to discuss the topics that should be negotiated by interviewees, who were addressed and chosen by the interviewers themselves. Aspects of leaving, arriving, and being there should be remembered in narrative interviews of 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
In a workshop done by Maria Froihofer, Multimedia Collection Graz, interviewers learnt about the basics of doing narrative interviews. It is essential to understand that: “Engagement in biographical-narrative dialogue does not require a special technique in the narrow sense of the word. Valuable results are not derived from exactly following certain rules or question techniques, but from the attitude with regard to the person interviewed and from providing room for telling the story. [...] People tend to tell what they think the interviewer wants to hear. [...] Every culture has its own tradition of telling stories which is reflected in individual memories.” (Workshop Handout. pp 1-3)
HIDD does not primarily aim at showing the diversity of the people leaving in Graz, being representative and comprehensive, nor does it intend solely to picture examples of successful integration and the difficulties poeple with migrational background have. These aspects can be found in the interviews of course. HIDD much more intends to have all participants engage in dialogue – which is also YOU and ME and the people who will finally be able to see the results in an exhibition in Spring 2012 – and facilitate learning.
The interviews that will be desplayed from now on on this site have been reduced by the interviewers to around 7 min. and at the moment are again filtered by master students at the Univ. of Applied Science in Graz, Exhibition and Museum Design. Ideas on how the videos and additional material can be presented to the public are elaborated. The winner will be chosen by the jury of interviewers end of Dec.