Podcasts have become an increasingly popular way for oral historians to feature their materials and reach broader audiences. As a participatory archiving program with deep roots in oral history, this is our opportunity to highlight pieces from our collection, while getting reacquainted with the stories in it. We live in the most ethnically and culturally diverse area in the country. The diverse perspectives featured in these episodes continue to animate and inspire the imagination of our borough’s residents. They also reflect slices of local history made visible through close listening. Thank you for listening!

On January 10, 2023, Signal Awards announced our Season 3 episode 2, “Halmoni’s Kimchee” had won their gold prize in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion category! Congratulations and big thanks to the Season 3 team who made this episode possible. Listen to the English episode here  and the Korean episode here.

Season 3 – “Our Major Minor Voices” – features stories from Queens’ diverse Asian American communities in their own voices. It includes eight bilingual episodes representing the eight most widely spoken Asian languages in Queens: Bangla, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Nepali, Tagalog, Tibetan, and Urdu. Click here to view the photos from the in-person listening parties.

In 2017, the Queens Memory team began exploring how podcasting could help us participate in contemporary local and global conversations through the lens of personal narrative. We know that an individual’s lived experience is an affective, undeniable way into the truth of complex social issues. Our first season drew entirely from our existing oral history interviews with people who settled in Queens from all over the world. Our second season recorded new interviews with Queens residents and highlighted sound and video contributions to our COVID-19 Project as the pandemic unfolded. Each ten-episode season is an enormous education in storytelling, production techniques, and distribution.

“We were impressed with how the people who made this piece, and the people it was made for, clearly expressed its impact on them and on the Queens community; its impact will also live on as part of a future archive of this moment in time. We want to see more of this kind of work in the world.”

-Third Coast International Audio Festival Jury (Season 2 – Episode 5)

“I listened to so many of the episodes, they are all wonderful windows into different worlds, but the one I recommend is ‘I Thought I’d Won,’ about two Nepalis who now call Queens home – one domestic worker, and one who became a barber. It’s heartbreaking to hear about the hard lives some of these people have left behind, their families still in Nepal, and the backbreaking work they’re doing to live in a place that undervalues them.”

-Lauren Passell, Podcast the Newsletter (Season 3 – Episode 3)
Queens Public Library

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