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Anasayfa » Preperation notes for Şirince

Preperation notes for Şirince

Talking about our perception against each other

how we have perceived each other in the span of our lives. These are also useful stories and I think will be relevant to the project as whole since we will also be interviewing each other after. So my idea is to have us speak about these things (maybe how we had stereotypes about each other? or the things we were taught in school or our families? and how we have changed (or maybe not changed?) and the challenges we have faced in overcoming such stereotypes).

about the attitudes we have had about the “other” and the challenges we have faced, how we have grown, etc

a conversation/discussion on attitudes we have had about Turkish women and challenges we have faced in overcoming them and so forth.

–> turkish and armenian womenhood- what do we know about each other and what we have learned from the place where we live. in which ways do we encounter with an armenian in turkey and vice versa, in what ways ( from tv, newspapers, school) do we hear or learn about  armenians in turkey and vice versa. so, how our knowledge for each other is constructed by the environment around us? 

and to add to these i would like to also talk about challenges we face today, i think the question of trust is really important, at least especially for Armenia since we are a post-conflict region/country…

Talking about trust issue with Milena

I have been told several times by  outsiders who know about the work I am doing that I should be careful the stories we collect will not be used against “my country”…things like this…

Workshop details from Yerevan

Women are ignored/invisible in history and from knowledge in general. Our stories are missing from archives and one way to include ourselves is through oral history and this kind of feminist approach.

Interviewing —> Remember that the person you are interviewing has her own viewpoint on reality, so don’t try to press your own viewpoint into the process of their interview. If the person thinks it’s more important to speak about something other than the question you want to have answered, then you have to accept it as the knowledge you will have from this interview. 

It’s important to understand the person’s reality and how they perceive it as different from how you perceive it. Also important to keep in mind is that the things the person doesn’t speak about are JUST as important. One way you can compensate for the things the person doesn’t talk about, but also for better understanding what the person meant is by continuing to speak to them even after the interview, so going out for a drink with them or visiting them later on to see how they are in their daily life. This can help you when you are doing the task of interpreting how to present the story later.

REPETITION is important because this is the way the interviewee makes it clear what is important for them. Do not ignore this…

Ethics –> explain your goal in interviewing the person and also how their interview will be used. Explain to them how the recorder is turned on and off and also let them know they can turn it off any time during the interview or ask you to turn it off. 

TRUST is the most important thing in the interviewing process. One way to obtain trust is to also speak about yourself if the person has questions, so SHARING is important. 

EDITING: We decided together when you were all in Yerevan that each team will work together to edit collectively. So we will keep in mind the oral-history aspect of the text, but also the fact that we will be performing these texts later on. 

We spoke about “too many additional words”…so how do we transcribe/edit those words that are used too much and seem unnecessary, like “umm…” or “anyway…” Do we keep these words when we edit in order to maintain the feeling of the interview? Can we afford to keep everything as it was said if we want to have texts that are no longer than 3 pages? And also when we read, we both want the text to not be too long, but also we want to use the language that was used originally to portray the meaning better…

Another question that also came up before is that when someone reads the text in Armenian and it sounds just like the way someone would speak in a conversation, they might think that the text is very ungrammatical and uneducated sounding…One thing we thought of to fix this problem is to explain the process of how we did the interviews and how we edited in the introduction of the book.

With regards to questions that we will have during the interview…We thought that the general topic of sexuality is good and from that we can think of a several topics to present to the interviewee to give them a better idea of what we mean when we say “sexuality.” It might sounds too much about sex or about reproductive things in Armenian so we will explain to our interviewees that sexuality can  mean a lot of things including, abortion, orientation, masturbation, menstruation, pleasure, violence, harassment, birth, pregnancy, sex (female/male), and so on…


These are the questions that we used for our oral story interviews as a preparation for Şirince meeting:

What is the word sexuality mean to you?

What would you want to tell from your life that is related with sexuality?

What is hard for you about talking sexuality?