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eniko.basa at verizon dot net
Wed, 14 Oct 2015 18:59:32 EDT by webmaster, 19560 views
History paper by Pigniczky, Réka and Andrea Lauer (all papers)
Recording Visual Histories of Hungarian American Immigrants Arriving after WWII and 1956
Following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, some 35,000 Hungarians immigrated to the United States. They were often referred to as the “cream of the crop,” passionate members of society in Hungary who were actively involved in 1956 and forced to flee when the Revolution failed. In their new country, many held tight to their strong heritage, went on to establish new cultural and community organizations and are now considered the grand elders of the Hungarian American community.
In 2015, Réka Pigniczky and Andrea Lauer Rice, both daughters of 56ers, launched the Memory Project: Hungarian American Visual History Archive (https://vimeo.com/channels/memoryproject), with the goal of recording personal interviews with 56ers and Displaced Persons (immigrants after WWII). As Phase I of their project, they have completed 35 interviews across the United States and in Hungary.
Modeled on the methodology utilized by the Shoah Foundation, they set about interviewing 56ers with the same set of questions focusing on three themes. They were: life in Hungary before immigration; the personal story of escape or immigration; and the experience of coming to and settling in America. The discussions almost always turned to the issue of cultural identity, particularly interesting since many of the participants have lived more than half their lives in the US.
Our presentation will focus on the overview and scope of this new visual history archive and its preliminary observations based on the first 35 interviews.
Brief Professional Bio:
Réka Pigniczky is a television journalist, producer and independent documentary filmmaker. A second generation American Hungarian, she created 3 films dealing with 1956, immigration, and dual-identity. Journey Home won awards in Hungary and was invited to screen at a number of international film festivals. Inkubátor was voted one of the 25 best films released in Hungary in 2010. Heritage is the prequel to the Memory Project. Réka Pigniczky has an MA in international affairs and journalism from Columbia University in New York, an MA in Political Science from the Central European University and a BA in Political Science from University of California, San Diego.
Andrea Lauer Rice is a multimedia producer, author and speaker who focuses on teaching the next generation through new and innovative ways. The author of several books and a graphic novel, she produced an educational computer game and created numerous educational websites, including an oral history site and visual history project. Rice actively manages several social media accounts, all with the goal of teaching and reaching young people with the stories of heritage and cultural traditions. Lauer Rice earned an MBA at Goizueta Business School at Emory University.