“The Loss of Oral History”

A new award-winning photography book “The Loss of Oral History” by Jalal Shamsazaran documents his father’s decline from Alzheimer’s disease. He says: “What bothers my father is not forgetting, but instead, it is remembering. Often my 83-year-old father recalls and relives the 1915 invasion of Tabriz by Russia, the death of soldiers and holy fighters of the democratic party in Azerbaijan, the central government killing fathers as their sons bared witness. My father and my aunt are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, a path that my grandfather had taken as well. This disease is hereditary in our family. My father’s present condition may end up being my own in the future.” See the images and story here and here.


Alzheimer’s and Oral History

Alex Kingsbury writes – Long before my grandmother lost all her memories, she told me one of her earliest. “My grandfather liked to watch French movies, and he would take me along when I was a very young child,” she told me. “To babysit me, I suppose. I couldn’t understand the words, but I loved to sit there and watch the pictures.”

These were family stories that no one had heard when she told them a decade ago, and it was a good thing she shared them when she did. She was always the family historian, a duty that she relinquished to me over time. Not long after she passed along her collection of documents from many generations of relatives, she let me make some audio recordings of her own memories.  Read full story here.