Memories and stories need to be re-told to be remembered and passed on to a new
generation. In this session, participants play the role of ‘memory activists’ by performing extracts from the London Against Racism oral history recordings to one another.
You will need:
-Audio recordings and transcripts (both available to download below)
- Choose and download one or more of the themed audio sets below (these contain the audio clips and transcripts that you’ll be using in the workshop). If you have one available, load the audio onto a portable music player.
- Working in groups of 4, choose one person to be the activist who will perform the first clip from the audio set. There are four clips per audio set, so more than one person will have the chance to perform.
- The first activist should now wear the headphones and play the recording (so that only they can hear it!). As it plays, the activist should aim to repeat aloud every every single word that they can hear, including ‘ums’ ‘ahs’ and hesitations.
Tips and tricks
- The activist should use his/her own accent, and match the pace and tone of the audio clips as closely as they can.
- This is no easy task! Printing and providing the transcripts for all participants will make it simpler and more engaging for all the group.
- If you don’t have resources available, or are working with younger participants (aged under 14 years) consider using the transcripts alone. (This allows each ‘actor’ to read aloud at their own pace).
- The session can be followed up with a group discussion about what participants have heard, their views, and the experience of taking on the role of an activist when performing the oral histories to the group.
- Remember that there is more audio that you can use around the rest of the site! Transcripts are also available.
In reading transcripts aloud, participants will learn about the differences between spoken and written language, and methods of oral history.
The theatre workshop is an engaging way to learn about local history that requires
participants to think about how individuals feel in response to historical changes. It can prompt discussion about how participants themselves might react to similar situations.
This is equally an appropriate activity for learning about drama. Comparing participants’ feelings compared to those of the interviewees’ will benefit learning methods of realistic performance.
The session can be run using different source material by recording students, teachers, parents or neighbours telling their favourite stories around a set theme.