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How do you tell history when nobody wants to talk?

 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 12:00 to 14:00
Speaker: 
Joyce Pillarella

In early 2000, Joyce Pillarella found a postcard of her grandfather in an internment camp in Canada that sparked her curiosity and ultimately brought her on a journey to unveil the story of the internment of Italian Canadians in Montreal during the Second World War. In this workshop, she will reflect on the process of breaking the silence and overcoming the shame experienced by the families of the internees. The process was all about building trust and relationships and making them feel safe to go public with their stories. One of the challenges was to have the families explain the fascist period in Montreal from a 1930s point of view and minimize the editing that comes from today’s perspective.

Joyce will walk us through the methodology, the ‘war stories’ of the process and how forming relationships brought strength and validation to the families. She will explain the design and content of the book she wrote on the topic and how the City of Montreal and the Quebec government took notice and made June 10th the official day to remember the internment of the Italian Canadians.

Joyce Pillarella is an oral historian, author, teacher and graphic designer. She specializes in the history of the Italians in Montreal. Mentored by Professor Steven High, she has done extensive research on the working class Italians of Ville Emard. Joyce created an exhibit on the Italians of Montreal, which was displayed at Monteal’s City Hall and The Casa d’Italia. She sits on the board of directors of The Casa d’Italia as the Chair of Oral History and Achives. She has created many projects with her students, organizes walking tours, and gives conferences on a variety of topics related to Italian Montreal history.

Photo: Postcard from Fredericton Internment Camp, 1943. Collection Joyce Pillarella.

Address: 
LB-1019, 1400 de Maisonneuve West, Montreal, QC

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