4 PM to 5:30 PM (Doors open at 3:45 PM)
Free and open to the public
Please join us as Michelle Esther O’Brien and Nico Fuentes present their work with the NYC Trans Oral History Project (NYC TOHP) in conversation with Suzanne Snider and the audience.
NYC TOHP is a public, online community archive devoted to the collection, preservation and sharing of trans histories, organized in collaboration with the New York Public Library. The NYC TOHP works to confront the erasure of trans lives and to record diverse histories of gender as intersecting with race and racism, poverty, dis/ability, aging, housing migration, sexism, and the AIDS crisis.
During the event, Fuentes and O’Brien will discuss some of the most challenging lessons related to the NYC Trans Oral History Project and the broader implications for rethinking best practices in oral history. This talk will address the Project’s and Collective’s emergent ideas around ownership, vulnerability, accessibility, fetishization of orality/aurality, compensation, mission-driven work and collective liberation.
Michelle Esther O’Brien is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at New York University. She is currently conducting dissertation research on LGBTQ social movements in New York City. Michelle also works as a Community Oral History Coordinator at the New York Public Library, where she helps lead the New York City Trans Oral History Project. The Project is gathering a growing online archive of personal oral histories from trans New Yorkers. Michelle received her Masters of Social Work from the Hunter College School of Social Work, CUNY (now Silberman School). She spent several years working in HIV/AIDS service agencies, as a community organizer, support group facilitator and case worker. She served as the Executive Director of Housing Here and Now, at the time the leading coalition of tenant rights organizations in New York City.
Nico Fuentes is a rank and file organizer, sex shop worker, listener and sometimes speaker. She is interested in trans political organizing, difference, and bridging class and identity politics. She most recently completed a two year contract campaign at the Pleasure Chest NY and is looking forward to continuing to work with the New York Trans Oral History Project as an interviewer.
Suzanne Snider is a writer, documentarian, and educator whose work is deeply influenced by oral history theory and practice. Her most recent projects have taken the shape of sound installation, essays, and archive design. In 2012, she founded Oral History Summer School, an interdisciplinary training program in upstate New York. She consults frequently for institutions and project teams; collaborations include the National Public Housing Museum, MoMA, Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Library of Kosovo. Her writing/audio work appear in The Guardian, The Believer and The Washington Post, along with several anthologies and artist catalogs. Snider teaches at The New School. With support from the Yaddo Corporation and the MacDowell Colony, she is completing her first book, The Revival.