What We've Been Up To....

This week was important one to the direction of our project. After a two-week holiday and a bunch of unexpected and unwelcome surprises, the Humanities Society met for the first time to discuss how we would react to the new developments.

Things were looking glum. It was made clear that we probably wouldn’t be getting nearly as much interview footage with survivors as we had planned. On top of that, we were severely behind schedule and had a budget of… absolutely nothing. Big changes needed to be made quickly, and so they were.

Problem Solving


Learning to Network

Since last week we’ve gotten a lot done, and have started to advance our project. On Friday, November 14th Stacey came to our class for the second time to give us a lecture about interviewing. She spoke about how to document our process, which we plan on doing as soon as our filming equipment is ready, and she taught us about the main ideas of interviewing. She discussed what kinds of questions we want to ask, how to look deeper than just what the interviewee says, and to “bring out the extraordinary in ordinary people”.

Getting Started: The Humanities Society Life Stories Project

The first time our grade 11 humanities class was introduced to the Life Stories project was more than two months ago. I remember how as Ms. Webster was telling us all about CURA and the idea of a documentary, the whole class become so excited that we spent the rest of the period talking just about this project and completely forgot about the Marxist seminars we were supposed to be working on. We have decided as a group to learn about oral history in order to create a film making use of a life story interview. We want to explore ideas about memory, trauma, and time.

Thank you Nancy Rebelo and Afsaneh Hojabri

The Life Stories Project has been in development for more than three years, and dozens of talented people have contributed to its success. As of right now, the project includes more than 100 members, including students, community organizers and artists, free-lance researchers and university faculty.

Reflection on Training: Achievements and Challenges (June 2008)

I joined the training and ethics team of the CURA Life Stories project at a crucial turn of its life, in the beginning of March 2008, when the whole process of training- plans and practices were about to materialize; when a collective and energetic push was needed to place on the right track the load of previous hard works, fine tune it to the exact momentum, and make it run smoothly and evolve continuously for months to come. I am delighted to be a part of that significant moment!

Year in Review for Project Assembly (June 15, 2008)

The first year of the Life Stories project has been extraordinary. The first project-wide assembly was held at Concordia on September 23, 2007. And the public launch of the project, hosted by the Life Stories’ Cambodian community partners, was held at the Centre des loisirs de Ville-St-Laurent on October 28, 2007. The public launch was an especially important moment because it clearly demonstrated project members’ depth of commitment and creative energy.

Sharing Authority Conference - some thoughts

Now that the school term is over, I wanted to write down my thoughts about the international colloquium that we organized in February on the theme of “SHARING AUTHORITY: Building Community-University Alliances through Oral History, Digital Storytelling and Collaboration.” We had an amazing response to our “Call for Papers” from folks across Canada, the United States as well as France, Brazil and Australia. The full programme can be found on the conference web site at The CURA project was well represented.

Reflections on the Rwandan Conference (April 2008)

I wanted to thank Josias, Callixte, Lisa and the other members of the Great Lakes Working Group for organizing what was a tremendously important 3 day colloque on Testimony and the Rwandan Genocide. I cannot begin to tell you how much I learned over the course of the three days.