Livestreamed on this page on Friday 29 October 2021 at 2:30 p.m. CET (Stockholm, UTC +2) / 13:30 BST (London, GMT +0) / 15:30 MSK (Nizhny Novgorod, UTC +3) / 8:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)
Conversation: Freedom Talk at House of Memory
A conversation on the importance of oral storytelling in indigenous societies
Safe Havens Freedom Talks presented a conversation in collaboration with Gothenburg Book Fair livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 29 October 2021.
The event was produced in collaboration with Gothenburg Book Fair and the recording will be streamed on Friday, 29 October 2021 at 2.30 pm CEST.
In this Freedom Talk, acclaimed writer Easterine Kire and founding chair of SH|FT Fredrik Elg had an interesting conversation on the importance of oral storytelling in indigenous societies and the project House of Memory collecting stories from the tribes of Nagaland as a part of the Freedom of Expression stage at the Gothenburg Book Fair.
As an oral society, when members of our community die, we lose the wisdom and knowledge that they carry. That loss entails loss of information on a family line or even a whole era. The project of House of Memory recognizes memory as a very fragile and unique resource. At the present time the need to record people’s memories is urgent. The House of Memory is a project to collect people’s memories of their hometown and village, their culture and professions, and any other points they wish to put on record.
The term culture is used in a very wide sense to cover cultural practices in the past as well as both rural and urban lifestyles, Christian and pre-Christian. The collections will be done in both audio and video recordings. If the family prefers, written memories can also be part of the collection. The House of Memory can be used for research purposes by scholars. Eventually, it will become an exhibition that the public can view and learn from. A very important element of the project is to retain ownership over our stories. Naga stories safeguarded by Nagas of today to be passed on to Nagas in the future. The Naga model can be used by any village and district.
About Freedom Talks
Safe Havens – Freedom Talks series is closely connected to the annual global Safe Havens conference. The Freedom Talks series is focused on issues regarding threats towards artistic freedom, free press, and intangible heritage. Guests in the Freedom Talks series are highly knowledgeable and prolific actors in the global arts rights justice sector—fighting for artistic freedom. The Freedom Talks aim to share space and broaden the narrative of who can take center stage, by lending the brand to different organizations within the sector. The talks are presented in—or translated to—English. The talks can be watched through the Freedom Talks Facebook account and through our partner Howlround, where also previous events are archived.
The Speakers @House of Memory
Easterine Kire, born in Nagaland, Northeast India, has a PhD in English literature from Pune University, India. Kire’s novels reflect the sociocultural and historical landscape of Naga society. Kire is also a member of the band, Jazzpoesi. The digital cd they released in summer 2013, topped the Norwegian Jazz charts. Kire is based in Tromsø, Norway where she first came in 2005 as the city’s first guest writer. She has a deep interest in historical writing and continues to record and document unwritten oral history in order to rescue and preserve it for future generations.
Previously a filmmaker, Fredrik Elg specializes in issues concerning democracy, inclusion, and freedom of speech, specifically in the arts. He has worked for the Swedish Arts Council, Malmö City and partnered with several global organizations working with democracy and freedom of speech, as well as, conceptualized and launched the Safe Haven network for creative professionals under threat. He is one of the founders of the nonprofit organization Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT). Elg has studied arts, journalism, and social studies at Lund University, Malmö University and at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
*The event is organized by the independent international NGO Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT), through collaborations within the global arts rights justice sector, and with Safemuse graciously supporting as its mentoring organization in the start-up period. SH|FT is supported by The Swedish Arts Council under the Programme for Artistic Freedom funded by Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and The Freedom Talks are sponsored by the Swedish Institute.