Anastasia's Journeys: Two Voices in a Limited Space

Nicola Pullan

Abstract

Anastasia’s Journeys was a temporary exhibition in the Australian History Museum, Macquarie University, Australia. Developed from the oral history of a post-World War Two Russian immigrant who survived Stalin’s policies of forced collectivisation and engineered famine, the display communicated primarily through audio tracks, supported by text panels and objects. This article articulates the creative tensions between theory and practice of public history which were encountered when planning the target audience, content, and design of the exhibition. It describes the process by which the oral history was placed at the centre of the presentation while objects were used both to illustrate changing social situations and introduce an opposing interpretation. The attributes of the oral history which made it suitable for an audio presentation are then discussed.

Keywords

oral history, Stalin, Holodomor, collectivisation, migrant, famine

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