The Queens Memory Podcast is an introduction to the hundreds of compelling and diverse stories in our oral history collections. Since launching our first season in 2017, we have produced 41 episodes and accumulated over 10,000 listeners. Our team has engaged award-winning journalists, musicians and other media professionals to bring the worlds of these storytellers to life for listeners.
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)
“I so appreciate the way the episode handles the conversation around immigration, stereotypes and nursing. I’m a nurse myself and I have a lot of thoughts on the matter and you all have handled it beautifully here. That’s no small task! Thank you so much for your work and care in this coverage.”
-Amy Gastelum, Registered Nurse and Journalist (Season 3, Episode 6)
Congratulations to our Season 3 team on winning Gold in the inaugural Signal Awards’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion category!
In this season of the Queens Memory podcast, “Our Major Minor Voices,” we feature stories from our neighbors of Asian descent in Queens, New York. One in four residents of the borough identifies as Asian-American. That’s more than 650,000 people with roots stretching back to Asia. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, these communities have been in turmoil. Already grappling with longstanding issues such as income inequality, immigration barriers, and racial stereotyping, Asian Americans now faced concerns for their personal health and public safety.
In this unique moment, we aim to document the stories of these vital communities and capture snapshots of our ever-changing neighborhoods as they are now.
Season Three’s production team includes Melody Cao, Anna Williams, Natalie Milbrodt, J. Faye Yuan, Cory Choy, Meral Agish,Tenzin Choklay, Indranil Choudhury, Shradha Ghale, Peter Gill, Stella Gu, Syma Mohammed, Trisha Mukherjee, Heidi Shin, Rosalind Tordesillas, with music by Elias Ravin. This podcast has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. The views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this episode are those of its creators and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of National Endowment for the Humanities, Queens Public Library, the City University of New York, or their employees.
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