Oral History Projects
Winners of the Oral History Contest selected by Dr. Brent Glass and US Embassy Vilnius
The Embassy of the United States of America is pleased to announce the winners of the US Embassy’s 1st annual Oral History Project contest.
The two winners are:
Ateitininkų Federacijos “Ugnė Karvelis” project, a collaboration between Ugnė Karvelis gimnazijos muziejaus, Ringaudų bibliotekos ir Tabariškių parapijos bažnyčia,
“Atminties Namai,” a multimedia project by the Vilkijos gymnasium.
The runners-up are:
“Fermų žvaigždės,” by Marijampolės savivaldybės Igliaukos Anzelmo Matučio vidurinės mokykla,
“TransMission,” a multidisciplinary project from Vilnius.
The contest took place from September 5 to 17th, and was co-judged by an Embassy panel and Dr. Brent Glass, Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian Museum of American History and an oral history expert. The contest received 13 entries from all across Lithuania, including from Marijampole, Šalčininkai, Šeta, Kedainiai, Vilkija, Šiauliai, Panevežys.
Writing his decision, Dr. Glass said: “The proposals for oral history project reflect a remarkable and sincere dedication to the value of local history and the need to fill significant gaps in public memory. Oral history projects are also highly motivating and rewarding for students as an activity that connects them to the people and institutions of their community. The response of schools and organizations from towns confirms the potential impact of the oral history enterprise.”
Dr. Glass commented: “While I was impressed with the scope and objectives of all the proposals, I gave two proposals the highest score for the following reasons:
1) “Ugne Karvelis” — The role of women in national political movements is often overlooked and unappreciated. The fact that the Ateitininkai Federation has identified Ambassador Karvelis as an authentic leader of in the newly independent Lithuania provides a unique opportunity to tell her story through the specific memory of people who knew and worked with her. A collective portrait of Ambassador Karvelis can emerge from this enterprise and I encourage the (name of school) to use the interviews to develop a full and honest biography that address her weaknesses as well as her strengths.
2) “House of Memories” — This proposal is appealing because it will use a variety of media to construct a community history of Vilkija. The potential for a rich and complex portrayal of the past is exciting. There is the possibility of conflict between the various forms of evidence that will be used in this project. I regard that potential conflict as a good illustration of why history is such a demanding discipline. The project participants should embrace rather than reject contradictory evidence and try to reach conclusions based on their own understanding of local history and traditions.”
The two winners and two runners up of the contest will be awarded either a $250 grant or an iPad based on the needs of their project. The awards ceremony will take place on October 19th at the US Embassy in Vilnius.