Kipouropoulou Georgia: Can lived experience constitute a reliable source of history?

Abstract
 
Historians have at times expressed doubts concerning the credibility of of memory itself, the psychology of the relationship between the interviewer and the narrator during the interview, and generally the relationship between memory and history. There is a complex relationship between narration, time and memory. Narration is a lived experience of the past while, at the same time, it provides ways so that people can perceive the present.
Oral history has also been described as “the interview of witnesses who participated in the events of the past, with the aim of reconstructing the past”. For many and various reasons, historiography has suppressed or forgotten or neglected or deliberately avoided historical facts which can be retrieved through oral history.
The research of oral history does not aim at collecting information about certain events but rather looks for the subjective experience of the event that took place. He is not only interested in what happened, but also in how narrators experienced it. Historians are reserved towards oral accounts as the narration itself is a product of memory. The historian, as a subject of the historical speech, respects the objective existence of historical events.