A deep goal of my work is to forge connections between people and cultures, and I regularly engage in documentary projects that benefit from my training as a folklorist and content producer.
"What's Your North Carolina Story?" at the National Folk Festival
Where are you from? Why is North Carolina your home? What do you want for your future and the state’s future? As part of the 2016 Fabric of Freedom programming, I designed this micro-oral history project to capture a snapshot of today’s diverse North Carolinians. Graduate students in public history and folklore from UNC Greensboro and UNC Chapel Hill conducted ten-minute interviews with visitors to the National Folk Festival and performers all weekend in an Airstream camper (September 2016). These “micro oral histories” will be donated to the collection of the Southern Oral History Program, where “you don’t have to be famous for your life to be history.”
Home in a New Place: Making Laos in Morganton, NC
"Home in a New Place: Making Laos in Morganton, North Carolina,” explores, through the world of one family, how Lao-Americans have crafted their home in a small southern community. By chronicling the experience of the Phapphayboun family in Morganton, this project tells a larger story about emergent global landscapes across the South. What started as a MA thesis has evolved into a website, several published articles, a podcast episode and three photo exhibitions.
Interviews for Objects from the Borderlands
Artist Susan Harbage Page exhibited work from her ongoing project Objects from the Borderlands at Greensboro Project Space for Fabric of Freedom (September 2016). As part of this exhibition, Page and I interviewed two Greensboro residents who crossed the US-Mexico border. Their words were turned into text ribbons and wrapped around objects they brought with them on this difficult journey.
Unpacking the Past, Designing the Future:
The Scrap Exchange and Lakewood in Partnership
I helped to conceptualize, research, and execute Unpacking the Past, Designing the Future, an exhibit in The Scrap Exchange's Cameran Gallery (on view Dec. 16, 2016 to Feb. 11, 2017). The exhibit explored the layered physical and personal histories of Durham's Lakewood neighborhood and The Scrap Exchange. Community interviews helped to bring this history to life, and to build support for The Scrap Exchange's proposed contributions to the future of Lakewood. Learn more.
Migration Narratives, UNC Global
Migration Narratives was a fall 2016 exhibition at the FedEx Global Center, UNC-Chapel Hill. The show highlighted four projects undertaken by recent alumni, graduate, and undergraduate students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to consider the local impacts of global migration. My thesis research for "Home in a New Place: Making Laos in Morganton, NC" was featured, and I was hired by UNC Global to research and produce "Carolina Connections." This part of the exhibit featured interviews with two UNC students, Zubair ’18 and Bahij ’17, both Syrian refugees who have resettled in North Carolina. Their narratives touch on each individual’s journey to Carolina and the impact the state has had on them. (Photo by Alicia Stemper.)