Steven High, Associate Professor of History and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Public History, believes ordinary people have extraordinary stories that not only need to be told, but also need to be preserved. High enlists the help of passionate students and faculty to conduct and digitally record "oral history interviews" which are transformed into short films and sound documentaries at the state-of-the-art Center for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia.
High was recently awarded a $1 million grant by the Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to study the lives of displaced Montrealers. The five-year project, called the Life Stories of Montrealers Displaced by War, Genocide and Other Human Rights Violations, will see High and his team interviewing and video recording 600 displaced persons living in Montreal.
Through this individual witness and community testimony, the project will address three distinct questions:
- How is large scale violence experienced and remembered by its victims and perpetrators?
- How do displaced persons (re)compose and narrate their stories in Montreal, Quebec and Canada?
- How can their stories of violence and displacement most effectively be represented and communicated to a wider public?