Parsippany Oral Histories Project

The Parsippany Library system launched a partnership with coLAB Arts to produce oral histories and photo essays documenting the local and immigrant experiences of our Asian community. With the support of a Morris County Heritage Commission re-grant award, oral histories and photos will be created and displayed at a public exhibition hosted by the library. The township has an ever-growing population of Asian Indian descent. 

All oral histories will be annotated by coLAB Arts’ research team with support from Professor Karen Pechilis, Professor of Religious Studies and NEH Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Drew University. Annotation research is intended to provide historic and social context for the oral history collection through sourcing policy, legislation, and journalism. The finished project will serve as an open-source archive for researchers, policymakers, and storytellers who wish to have a stronger understanding of Parsippany’s immigrant experience.


Our photographer for this project is Shravya Kag. Shravya is a queer, brown, photo and video documentarian based in Brooklyn, New York. Born and raised in Vijayawada, India, she moved to Brooklyn in 2015 and received a Masters in Photography from the School of Visual Arts. Captivated by oral histories and how they can shape a culture, her work is an exploration of home, identity and personal space largely focusing on the intimate and interpersonal stories of people of color and of queer people. Shravya’s work has been internationally commended and exhibited at various locations such as Somerset House London, Photoville and Art Space NYC and featured in publications like Vogue India and NY Times.


This project is meant to directly benefit the community reflected in its stories, to provide an increased sense of place and identity, and facilitate conversations around what makes Parsippany a resilient and safe space for immigrants to create a home.

 

Please view the photos here: https://shravyakag.pixieset.com/parsippanyoralhistories/

 

Please view the transcripts here: 

Jenny Carvajal

Jasmine Lim

Manu Subbaiah