Oral History and Performance News

Radio Works! The Roma: From Then to Now

Tune into CKUT 90.3 FM tomorrow morning, this Friday November 4 at 7:29 AM to hear about "The Roma: From Then to Now," in an interview with Gerhard Baumgartner.

Gerhard Baumgartner is an Austrian historian specializing in minority questions and particularly, the Roma genocide of World War II.
He presented a talk on this subject, this past Monday, cosponsored by the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, Montreal Life Stories,
the Center for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies.


If you miss the broadcast live, fear not!!
The interview will be available immediately at
and a few weeks later on both, the Life Stories website here:
and the CitizenShift website here:

It Is Only Sound That Remains - New website!

In August of 2010, Shahrzad Arshadi was selected as the Montreal Life Stories Project 2010-2011 Artist in Residence for her project, "It Is Only Sound That Remains".

Over the last year, Shahrzad has collaborated with sound and performance artists Caroline Künzle and Moe Clark to create a piece of “Sound Theatre” about the life and tragic death of Montreal-based, Canadian-Iranian photojournalist “Ziba” Zahra Kazemi at the hands of Iranian authorities in the summer of 2003. Kazemi’s case gained international attention after she was arrested, tortured into a comatose state, and subsequently died after being removed from life support in an Iranian hospital.

A new website was recently created by Stephan Kazemi, Ziba's son, in order to preserve this innovative work: www.shahrzadarshadi.com/soundtheater/

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS - Artist in Residence Program 2011-2012

The Artist in Residence (AIR) program will provide artist stipends of up to $8,000 per year through annual competition in 2009-2010, 2010-2011, and 2011-12. Funds may be allocated to one or more projects in each year at the discretion of our Adjudication Committee. The AIR program is an initiative of the Oral History and Performance (OHP) working group—one of seven research clusters comprising the Life Stories of Montrealers Displaced by War, Genocide, and Other Human Rights Violations.”

The AIR program has been conceived along the lines of the Canada Council's Artists in Communities Collaboration Program (ACCP) to support community-engaged artists who would like to undertake a project that advances the research aims and community benefits of the Oral History and Performance research group in particular and the Life Stories project in general. We are particularly interested in proposals that have the potential to exert an impact beyond simply a limited "run" of public performances, and that might in some way help to create links between and beyond the various communities and research clusters engaged in the Life Stories project. Suitable activities might include training workshops, public presentations, or other activities designed and undertaken as collaboration between an artist or artists and community members.

Eligibility and Procedure

Lead artists should have demonstrated experience in community-engaged work. Proposed projects should be "grounded" in one or more of the “communities" implicated in the Life Stories project, and ideally reflect, reference, or explore aesthetic forms, issues, and concerns that are in some way "representative" of those communities. "Community" is loosely defined to include "communities of artists." Proposals should be grounded in the performing arts; however, projects that use interdisciplinary, multi-disciplinary, or integrated arts approaches are welcome. Artists who are considering applying to the AIR program are strongly encouraged to contact Edward Little in order to discuss the suitability of their proposal to the Life Stories of Montrealers project.

Deadlines and Funding Periods

June 6, 2011 for projects that will take place between July 1, 2011 and June 31, 2012.
Applicants will be notified of the Adjudication Committee’s decision by the third week in June.

Payment Schedule

Awarded Funds will normally be distributed in three equal installments (depending on the duration and size of the project). The first installment will be paid upon signing of an Acceptance Contract; the second installment upon submission of a Mid-term Progress Report; and the final installment upon submission of a Completion Report.

Application Form

Please describe your project using the following headings and within the indicated maximum word limits:

1. Title and brief Description of the Proposed Project (1/4 page max)
2. Detailed Description of the Proposed Project (3 pages max) including:
• The goals, outcomes, and perceived benefits of the project
• A list and/or description of potential community participants
• The names of all artists to be involved (please append an abbreviated c/v or resume (3 pages max) for each artist including yourself who will be involved in the project,
3. Relevance of the Proposed Project to the overall goals and aims of the Oral History and Performance research group in particular and the Life Stories project in general (1 page max),
4. Artistic Merit of the Proposed Project (1 page max) including professional development of the artists involved,
5. A Timeline for the Realization of the Project (1 page max) indicating any significant “milestones” to be accomplished during the tenure of the project,
6. A Detailed Budget listing Expenses and Revenues and including any funds requested or expected from other sources.

Criteria for Adjudication

Projects will be adjudicated based on the following:
• 40% - the degree to which the project addresses and furthers the research and overall goals of the OHP and Life Stories project -- including sharing authority, engaging with central research question(s) and the potential contribution to knowledge in the field of Oral History and Performance,
• 40% - the artistic and social merits of the project including its potential for artistic innovation and growth, and its positive impact on both the artist(s) and community or communities involved,
• 20% - the quality and thoughtfulness of the project's overall planning and conception including presentation, background research, cultural competencies, timelines, outcomes, budgeting, resource management, etc.,

Completed Application forms can be sent via email to:
Artist in Residence Project Coordinator Edward Little at: elittle@alcor.concordia.ca

Adjudication will be by selected Members of the Oral History and Performance (OHP) Research Cluster with representation from both Community and University partners. The Adjudication Committee may seek advice from outside sources when it deems necessary.

Applicants are also welcome to submit supplemental materials such as photos, dvds, journal or newspaper articles, reviews of the their work etc. Please indicate a return postal address and specify if you would like any supplemental material returned to you. Applications and Supplementary Materials can be sent to:

Edward Little, GM 5-55
Department of Theatre, Concordia University,
1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1M8

Nolsina Yim and Marita Arnold speak about Cambodian colloquium on CKUT 90.3 FM

Tune into CKUT 90.3 FM this week, to hear interviews with Nolsina Yim and Marita Arnold, members of the Cambodian Working Group, about the international colloquium Cambodia from then to now: memory and plural identities in the aftermath of genocide taking place May 5, 6, and 7 at Concordia University in Montreal.

A live French-language interview with Nolsina Yim will take place Monday, May 2 at 5 PM on the news program, En Profondeur,
and will be re-broadcast Thursday, May 5, at 7:10 AM on Lendemain de Veille.

A live English-language interview with Marita Arnold, in English, will take place Tuesday, May 3 at 5 PM, on the news program, Off the Hour,
and will be re-broadcast Friday, May 6, at 8:15 AM on the Friday Morning After.

If you miss the broadcast live, fear not!! The interview will be available a few weeks, here: http://lifestoriesmontreal.ca/en/radio-works and the Citizenshift website here: http://citizenshift.org/displaced-violence-life-stories

Long Term Memory Radio

Tune into CKUT 90.3 FM this Wednesday, April 20, from 5 and 6 PM, to hear a special edition of Off the Hour: Long Term Memory Radio on the 17th commemoration of the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda. Interviews with members of PAGE-Rwanda and Life Stories Montreal, produced by Sandra and Stéphanie Gasana, in collaboration with Courtney Kirkby.

And then, this Friday, April 22 at 8:15 AM, an interview with Montreal-based Kurdish artist Khadija Baker, about her
piece, My Little Voice Can’t Lie, part of the [in-tur-pri-tey-shunz] exhibit taking place at Concordia’s FOFA gallery
until April 29.

Using Objects of Tolerance to Teach Tolerance: An interview with Dr. David Pilgrim

Tune into CKUT 90.3 FM this Monday, March 28 at 8:40 AM to hear an interview with Dr. David Pilgrim, founding director of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia in Big Rapids Michigan, about the genesis of his 9,000 piece collection of racist artifacts. He was interviewed by Monica Eileen Patterson, post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Ethnographic Research in the Aftermath of Violence, which is based at Concordia University. Dr. Pilgrim was recently invited by CEREV to speak in their Current Issues in Museums, Heritage and Public Cultural Work series.

For more information about the Jim Crow museum:

For more information about CEREV (Centre for Ethnographic Research in the Aftermath of Violence):

Singer-songwriter AliSepu tells his story

Tune into CKUT 90.3 FM this Monday, March 14 at 8:40 am to hear from local Chilean-Montrealer singer/songwriter AliSepu. You will hear interview excerpts from his life story interview, in which he discusses a return to his roots and the discovery that he doesn’t completely fit in. Interspersed is original music from local artists of different backgrounds (Haiti, Chile, Argentina, Algeria and France), sketches for the songs for his next album.

Racines éphémères – Filming your gestures! Volunteers needed!

The *RACINES ÉPHÉMÈRES* Project is an interdisciplinary art project that looks at signs of displacement in gesture and body language. We have analyzed life story interviews with people displaced by war, genocide and human rights abuses and created several works of art from this analysis:

For the third and last phase of this project, matralab will create an interactive video installation *LES GESTES DEPLACÉS*.

For this project, we would like to film about 8-10 individuals from Montreal-based communities. These individuals can have been interviewed already or could be other people who up to now are not involved with the Montreal Life Stories project. We would give them short video snippets of life story interviews with characteristic gestures and ask them to imitate this gesture. After they have had a little time to familiarize themselves with the gesture, we will film them in a stylized way. They need not be actors or dancers or have any skills beyond those that every person has: to imitate the movements of another person. In fact, we are interested in the distortions to the movement that happen when it goes through another body.

For each person, the entire process will take about 2-3 hours and they will get a remuneration of $100 for their time and effort.

The video shoots would take place on
January 15 from 10h-18h
January 17 from 18-22h
January 20 from 18-22h
January 21 from 18-22h

Please contact matralab to learn more about the project and receive the infosheet: matralab@gmail.com

Special Radio Broadcast this Saturday!

Tune into CKUT 90.3 FM on Saturday August 21 from 2 to 4 PM to listen to a special broadcast of Funky Revolutions. Participants from the Radioworks! and Refugee Youth radio workshop will host a 2-hour special about music, story and memory.

You will hear an eclectic mix of music of special significance, personal stories and political commentary from Stephanie, Ayanda, Marie Francoise, Bylow and Rania. A broadcast not to be missed!

Memory of the Armenian genocide

Montreal Life Stories would like to congratulate team member Hourig Attarian who was awarded an FQRSC Post-Doctoral Fellowship to work on a research project related to the memory of the Armenian genocide. Congratulations Hourig!

"My program of research aims to explore the intergenerational life stories of Armenian women who, as a direct consequence of the 1915 genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish Empire against its Armenian subjects, were absorbed into Turkish, Kurdish and Arab Bedouin households and led "hidden" double lives in many cases throughout their lifetimes. Their stories have been buried deep into folds of personal memories through decades of silences burdened by secrets, stigma, and shame.

The recent surfacing of select stories of descendants of "hidden" Armenians disrupts the taboos on both sides of the Turkish-Armenian divide. One excellent example is the publication in Turkey of well-known human rights lawyer Fethiye Çetin's book My grandmother (2004 in Turkish, 2008 in translation) detailing the story of the Armenian origins and ordeal of her survivor grandmother. When asked how she identifies herself after her discovery about her grandmother, Çetin responds "Melez" meaning hybrid, not pure in Turkish.

Stories like Çetin's offer an opportunity to explore critically these hybridized spaces of identity along a very sensitive divide between perpetrator and victim, executioner and survivor, "pure" and "impure" national identities, all written on the boundaries of women's bodies."