Metakgp:The Kharagpur Documentation Project
We come to KGP spend 4-5 years of our lives and then leave, but we have people like SamD, Ravi Da, our Ashok Da who runs the cycle repair shop at Azad and the dada at Carlos, these people have been here for decades. They have seen generations of KGPians come and go, they have seen more KGP than we can ever imagine seeing. The KGP documentation project aims to collect the oral histories of these other KGPians we don't often talk about. We will talk to owners of eateries, mess workers, owners of shops at TechM and cycle repair workers, listen to their stories and learn about their lives at KGP and the changes they have seen. But TKDP won't be simply be a collection of personal interviews. The lives of individuals are intertwined with the larger historical and sociological context. Of course individuals behave according their personal quirks and choices but the domain of these choices are dependent on context. TKDP aims to capture this context. In the end we will not only know what was it like to live as Ashok Da, Sam Da or Ravi Da but by looking at their individual stories as a whole we will have a deeper understanding of the time and society they have lived through.
Interviews done so far[edit source]
- The Cook Who Runs Marathons - Gouranga Dey, Head Cook of RK Hall, interviewed by Spectecool.
Template for Interview[edit source]
Before the interview[edit source]
Do background research for the interviewee, talk to them explain the project and tell them what will the interview consist of. Then fix a date time and venue and test you equipments before taking the actual interview.
While collecting oral histories we aim to collect stories and the context of the time our interviewees have lived through. So, rather than asking questions which expects the answers to be simple "facts", we will be asking questions which will prompt the interviewee to give long essay type answers. For example if we ask "When did you start your restaurant?" the typical answer would be like, "eight years ago", "in 1990's" etc. instead the answer to "Why did you start your restaurant?" can give insights into the family conditions of the interviewee to the the larger socio-economic conditions of that time.
Guidelines at dohistory.org suggest that the questionnaire should be formed around certain topics. We'll form those topics during our background research of the interviewees. Some of the topics can be "What was the effect of creation of institute boundary wall on local population?", for the canteens in halls we can ask "What are the changes in student community they have seen over the years?". We don't need to remain KGP specific so we can also in directions like "What were the effects of economic liberalization of 1991 on their lives?", or we also can talk about the politics of Bengal and its effect on local KGPians.
Getting involved[edit source]
Tentative list of people to be interviewed[edit source]
- SamD at Azad's Canteen
- Barber near PFC
- Ashok Da, the cycle repair guy at Azad
- The owner of the Carlos canteen
- Guards at the main gate. Catch Tiger, if possible.
- Swadesh Da of the BCR canteen
- Any shop owner in Tech Market