This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please inquire about permissions.
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The narrator of this interview Carla Perez Gallardo, a chef, entrepreneur, and co-owner of Hudson’s Lil’ Deb’s Oasis. The restaurant is a queer, fusion food restaurant. The interview took place remotely via Zoom on June 9, 2021. Carla (she/they) self-identifies as a queer artist who values intentionality, reciprocity, and inclusivity. She hails from Queens Village, New York, lived in Madrid, Spain, and settled in Hudson in 2011. She is invested in creating communities of mutual care. She talks about the relationship between Bard College and Hudson, the symbiosis between art and food, her 10-year residency in Hudson, and opening the restaurant five years ago, honoring the legacy of its previous owner Debbie Fierro, curating food that reflects the multi-ethnic diversity of Hudson, and maintaining Lil’ Deb’ Oasis as the city’s first openly queer brave space. She discusses heightened housing developments in Hudson and the city’s recent population growth as stated in a New York Times article. She reflects on the relationship between Lil’ Deb’s Oasis and gentrification, Hudson as a queer mecca, and the city’s community and artist-run spaces. Carla offered a description of Oakdale Beach, and 7th Street Park and its environs.The interview may be of interest to those who want to learn about queer spaces, community-building, tourism to Hudson, displacement of communities of color, multiple forms of sustained activism, food as a mode of care intercultural connection, inclusivity, awareness, and thoughtful participation in settling in a city like Hudson. One also learns about the recent past of the city, its present, and her vision for its future.
Mario LaMothe is an LGBTQ rights activist, performance artist, and scholar. He is an assistant professor of Black Studies and Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he specializes in the arts, expressive cultures, and queer worldmaking of Haitian and Caribbean people. He is interested in family oral histories of the Haitian diaspora in the US as a means to understand how Haitians cultivate, silence, and/or restore Haiti’s identity values, in dialogue or in tension with their host land’s cultural tenets.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”