Afghanistan Women’s Stories

“A University of Texas at Arlington educator who was forced to flee Afghanistan when the Taliban regained control two years ago this month is leading an oral history project that elevates the voices of fellow Afghan women refugees. Roshan Mashal, a specialist in UTA’s Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) program, is co-leading The RUG Project, which recognizes the resilience of Afghan women, promotes global unity and guides efforts for social change. With support from the GWSS program, faculty members from the Department of Communication – Dustin Harp, Chyng-Yang Jang, Brian Horton and Andrew Clark – the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Mina’s List and the Afghan American Foundation, The RUG Project spotlights the stories and experiences of Afghan women refugees to guide educators, activists, policymakers and journalists working to advance women’s rights as human rights.” See full story here.

“Memory Boxes” for Afghans

Afghanistan Center for Dialogue and Memory, located in a rented basement in Kabul, is the first repository for memories of those who fell victim to Afghanistan’s decades of war. It exhibits everyday belongings — from scarves to poems — that illustrate the lives lost to violence in the past 40 years of conflict in Afghanistan. The center houses the memories of a small portion of the victims, hardly 8,000. For full story click here.

OHAA National Conference – Australian War Memorial interviews

Recording from the frontline:  the Australian War Memorial’s experience of interviewing current serving Defence force members

1.30 pm 21 September 2013.

Stephanie Boyle
Australian War Memorial

Stephanie did 500 hours of interviews in the field in Afghanistan and Iraq.  She spent four weeks in Afghanistan.  She was very well prepared but was challenging.  She did 50 interviews and had a template for the interviews which included aspects of life on the base, impact on family life, how do they feel about being there. 

Parts of interviews on Australian War Memorial YouTube channel – Collecting in Action  Some interviewees did not understand the purpose of oral history.  She had to put them at their ease.  One soldier, Ziggy Mortars (pseudonym) has song on YouTube at  It was hard for them to wind down when retuning to Australia.  They did not sleep well for a long time and did not know how to answer the question “what was it like?”  It was all about survival.  It was a good learning opportunity for the interviewer and may be used to test the ANZAC mythology.  Perhaps interview them again in 10 years time.  All interviews have to be secured by Defence for about 20 years. 
Suzanne Mulligan