The Parsippany-Troy Hills Public Library System will be partnering with coLAB Arts to produce oral histories and photo essays documenting the local and immigrant experiences of the Asian community with the support of a Morris County Heritage Commission re-grant award. Oral histories and photos will be available digitally, along with a public exhibition hosted by the library. The Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills 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.
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.
If you would be interested in participating with the library and coLAB Arts on this oral history project, please contact Nicholas Jackson at email@example.com or Daniel Swern at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The photographer for this project, Shravya Kag 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 graduated from the School of Visual Arts with an MPS in Photography. 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. She currently working on a body of work on Queer South Asians and a short documentary about a drag queen based in New Jersey.