Then, Now, Next:

Oral History and Social Change

By the 2014 OHMA Cohort, May 1, 2015
Co-Curated by Amy Starecheski, OHMA Associate Director & Helen Gibb, 2014
Check out the full event description on the OHMA blog

Oral history has the potential to transform public dialogue about the most important issues of our time—race and police violence, income inequality, gentrification, the crisis of democracy—by amplifying diverse voices in the public sphere, providing new perspectives and historical context.

How can oral histories help us understand and catalyze social change? This interactive, multimedia pop-up exhibit, curated by the students and faculty of the Columbia Oral History Master of Arts program, will present eleven projects engaging this question from eleven different angles, asking:

  • How do experiences of collective power become myths, and how do these myths generate or defuse new waves of activism?
  • How do stories of urban places nurture resilient communities?
  • How are living traditions of resistance passed down between generations and how are these traditions disrupted?
  • How do personal stories about the past document injustice and provide clues to a new way forward?
  • How do we use knowledge of history to imagine and create the future we want?

Audience members will be invited to don headphones and dip into immersive community spaces, including a sultry jazz club, a midwife’s office, and a neighborhood hair salon.



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