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Professor Andrea Casa Nova Maia Elected as New President of the ABHO (Brazilian Oral History Association)

Elections’ results of THE BRAZILIAN ORAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION (ABHO) 2020-2022.

On November 13th 2020, the new Executive Committee and Review Commission were elected at the ABHO General Assembly. Andréa Casa Nova Maia (History Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – IH-UFRJ) became the new president of the association and Ricardo Santhiago (Federal University of São Paulo – UNIFESP) is now the new vice-president.

The objectives and plans of ABHO for 2020 were translated from the speech of its new president, Professor Andrea Casa Nova Maia, at the virtual assembly:

“I am very honored today to became the new president of ABHO. I was doing the math here and I have been working with Oral History since 1993! I have participated in all national and regional meetings in Southeast Brazil since my undergraduate days. It’s a lot of history. And today, I think we have to recover the dimension of movement, the federative locus of oral history, including more and more colleagues from middle and elementary school , social movements, expanding more and more other areas of knowledge production, in addition to university students and memory institutions such as archives and museums. More oral history of quilombolas, indigenous, LGBTQIA+; more oral history of people affected by dams, environmental oral history of destruction, but also of construction, of social movements fighting for land and the right to the city, more oral history of refugees… more knowledge produced about lost traditions that are reinvented, oral history of the pandemic and so many other rich stories that we build together, with ethics, restitution and respect for one another! Memory as a fighting weapon!

It should also be noted that the current circumstances imposed on the world by the pandemic have directly reflected in the methodological and technical aspects of oral history. Our work has always valued the face-to-face meeting, the exchange of glances, the inter-views. It was essential to get to know our interviewees personally so that the whole gesture machine, of the senses, could be activated in a freer remember… In 2020, all that has changed. Of course, there were already surveys that used resources such as phone and video calls, but that was not the rule. Today, with the pandemic, the exception has become a necessity, a rule, especially in cases of interviews with the elderly or people at risk, as well as those conducted in isolated communities.

We need to rethink oral history methods in the face of new technologies. The research that will be publicized in the coming years will have in their footnotes the specifics of data collection, in which the pandemic will have been a determining factor. The catastrophe itself forces us to innovate: the use of video calling apps, online chat apps have become our “physical contact”; cellphones and notebooks are now our “recorders”. A PhD student under my supervision, Bruna Coelho, pondered with me recently that the gain we have is related to the financial factor, since budget, scholarship and grants have been cut and reduced due to the Brazilian economics crisis. Many researchers could not travel to do interviews and write their dissertations and thesis.. On the other hand, it is a loss since we don’t physically meet these historical subjects that have a lot to offer in their memories. We know that it is through this closer contact that we create empathy with the interviewees and enrich our work as researchers. In addition, many of them do not have access to new media and/or do not know how to use them. This technological generation is new and even teachers and students, researchers in general, have difficulties adapting.

We live in a decisive moment for our area! In a few years the oral history manuals, articles and books will be addressing the techniques that we are developing and improving at this  moment. It is up to this ABHO management to open this discussion, broadening our horizons and rethinking the next steps that will strengthen oral history in the face of such adversities. Internationalize, index our journal – this I leave to Ricardo and Bernardo to talk about. Revise the Statute to increase institutional security. Legal accounts at the regional offices as proposed here. Anyway, I think I can summarize the plate’s proposal by the words resistance and inclusion. I believe that is the goal. Thank you Lucília Neves, Juliano Spyer, José Carlos Sebe Bom Mehy, Andrea Paula dos Santos, Michel Le Ven, Yonne Grossi, Ligia Pereira Leite, Alice Beatriz Lang, Regina Beatriz, Antonio Montenegro, Marieta de Moraes, Pere Petit, Ana Carolina Maciel, Juniele Rabelo, Angela de Castro, Zeila, Célia Lucena, Olga Von Simpson, Mauro Passos, Ana Maria Mauad, Maria Paula Araújo, Marco Aurélio Santana and many other companions on this journey for the construction of ABHO in Brazil and in the world. It is!

I hope to see you all in person in 2022 on Rio de Janeiro. Oral history is part of my life. I hope I can do a good job. Thank you!!!!”

MANAGEMENT 2020- 2022
1st Secretary: Bernardo Buarque de Holanda (FGV-SP)
2nd Secretary: Erinaldo Cavalcanti (UNIFESSPA)
Treasury: José Brito (UFAPE)
Fiscal Council:
Rodrigo de Azevedo Weimer (Public Archive of the State of Rio Grande do Sul)
Pablo Porfírio (CAP / PPG / UFPE)
Marcos Montyzuma (UFSC)
Editorial board
Glauber Cícero Ferreira Biazo (UFPA)
Juniele Rabêlo de Almeida (UFF)
Marieta de Moraes Ferreira (UFRJ / FGV)
Sara Farias (UNEB)
Viviane Trindade Borges (UDESC)
Scientific Council:
Joana Maria Pedro (UFSC); Celia Regina Pereira de Toledo Lucena (CERU-USP); Maria Paula Araújo Nascimento (UFRJ), Eurípides Antonio Funes (UFCE), Regina Coely (UNB); Regina Beatriz Guimarães Neto (UFPE); Idelma Santiago da Silva (UNIFESSPA); Angela de Castro Gomes (UFF); Pere Petit (UFPA); Carla Simone Rodeghero (UFRGS)