Suzanne Snider (Founder, Director, Instructor, Oral History Intensive) is a writer and oral historian. She has worked as an interviewer or consultant for Columbia University’s Center for Oral History, MoMA, Center for Reproductive Rights, the New York Academy of Medicine, HBO Productions, the Newtown Creek Community Health and Harms Narrative Project, the Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Prison Public Memory Project, among others. Her own oral history projects have addressed disappearing labor forces, rehabilitative medicine, parapsychology, and feminist presses. She serves on the Judd Foundation’s Oral History Advisory Board and chairs the Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi Award Committee. Her work––published in The Washington Post, The Guardian, Legal Affairs, Guernica, The Believer, and several artist books––has been supported through fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Sloan Foundation, the UCross Foundation Center, and the Radcliffe Institute. She received a 2011 commission from Triple Canopy for New Media Reporting. She teaches Writing, Documentary and Oral History courses at the New School University and is currently completing a book about a divided commune in Middle America.
Eugenie Mukeshimana (Instructor, Interviewing Survivors of Complex Trauma) is the Founder and Executive Director of Genocide Survivors Support Network (GSSN), a NJ-based nonprofit organization that serves immigrant genocide survivors in America. As one of the leading voices among survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, she frequently presents on genocide and war topics and travels around the country to speak about her experiences during the genocide. In an effort to gain a better understanding of current and future challenges of living with the memories of the genocide, Eugenie began to conduct filmed interviews with Holocaust survivors about their post-holocaust experiences.
Eugenie helps survivors to open up and tell their stories often for the first time and sometimes before total strangers. She also helps them manage the post-disclosure range of emotions. Her work with refugees as a freelance telephonic language and cultural interpreter for leading language service companies helped her uncover serious communication challenges faced by refugees and service providers across the country and has contributed a chapter in Children and Families Affected by Armed Conflicts in Africa: Implications and Strategies for Helping Professionals in the United States. NASW Press 2012.
Eugenie holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work from the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY. She was a 2012 Human Rights Advocate Program fellow at Columbia University. She is a mother of one daughter born during the genocide and lives in South Orange, NJ.
Sady Sullivan (Instructor, Build it and They Will Come: Building an Oral History Archive) is Director of Oral History at the Brooklyn Historical Society and co-director of Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations. Her interview technique demonstrates a merging of feminist methodology and Buddhist deep listening. Since joining BHS in 2006, she has led eight oral history projects and conducted life history interviews with over 200 people. In addition, she manages the preservation of BHS’s legacy oral histories, 12 projects dating back to 1973, many of which are newly digitized and accessible for listening. Sady is interested in how oral history can empower individual agency in the present, while documenting complex social history and concepts of identity for future generations. She is glad that Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations opens up space for racial justice dialogues in Brooklyn. She presents frequently on the subject of oral history, particularly issues surrounding accessibility, to history students, teachers, and archivists at schools and conferences, and she teaches an oral history seminar at the Brooklyn Historical Society and workshops for community oral historians embarking on their own projects. She received a Master’s in Cultural Reporting & Criticism from NYU and a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Women’s Studies from Wellesley College.
Laura Checkoway (Instructor, Oral History and the Documentary Film) has penned revealing celebrity profiles and investigative features for numerous publications and is the former senior editor of Vibe magazine. Her first book, My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2011 and shortlisted as one of the best music books of the year by NPR. In 2011, she directed and produced a series of documentary segments for PBS World. Currently, she’s producing video content for Google and Toyota/Scion. Her first feature length documentary, Lucky, is in post-production.
Meral Agish (Technical Assistant) works as an independent oral historian and as a fundraiser, event planner and grant writer for the Drug Policy Alliance, Sandy Storylines, and other nonprofit organizations. She is a graduate of Yale University and recently completed the certificate program at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, where she worked on oral history projects with Vietnam veterans, long-married couples, and former residents of Durham’s demolished Hayti district. In 2013, Meral will travel to China and Japan to produce a multimedia documentary about the Tatar diaspora in the Communist era.
Michael Garofalo (Instructor, Oral History and Radio) is senior producer for the national oral history project StoryCorps. A member of the two-time Peabody Award-winning production team (2006 & 2011), Michael has had a hand in creating nearly all of the project’s content — from producing StoryCorps’ weekly national broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and hosting the podcast, to contributing to the first StoryCorps book, to co-producing a series of Emmy-nominated animated shorts for PBS’s POV. He has trained producers in both the US and in the UK for BBC Radio 4. In 2010, Michael launched a podcast for the respected online film journal, Reverse Shot. Michael also makes music using radios — among other things — and is a Transmission Artist with the nonprofit arts organization free103point9. In 2012, Michael was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.
Karen Gardner (Assistant) is an aspiring writer. Her work thus far explores new analyses of microeconomic development theory, including critiques within labor economics, urban economics, and community-based development. Her work has included an interview-based project in the Ilam region of eastern Nepal analyzing the power dynamics involved in a tea factory’s conversion to organic production. A subsequent project analyzes USAID’s agricultural technology interventions in Nepal. Aside from writing, she is also an aspiring farmer, baker, and marathon runner. She received her Bachelor’s in Economics at Bard College.
Housing is a Human Right (Rachel Falcone, Michael Premo) is a creative storytelling project that aims to help connect diverse communities around housing, land, and the dignity of a place to call home. We create a space for people to share stories of their community and ongoing experiences trying to obtain or maintain a place to call Home. We are building a collection of intimate, viscerally honest narratives exploring the complex fabric of community and the human right to housing and land, painting a living portrait of human rights.
Stories are recorded in sound in the tradition of oral history and shared as audio stories, photographs and multimedia across multiple platforms-including interactive exhibitions in unconventional spaces & broadcasts via traditional and new media outlets.
Collaboration is the Word in Oral History, June 7, 1 to 3:30pm
When you are embarking on creating an oral history project, it can often be advantageous to collaborate with existing community groups and individuals. What does collaboration with community look like? How do you decide who to work with and how and when to work together? In this workshop, artists and oral historians Rachel Falcone and Michael Premo will share case studies from their work that has been created in collaboration with community partners. They will discuss strategies for working with different communities, obstacles in such collaborations and best practices.