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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Aviva Silverman grew up in the East Village of New York City before moving to Hoboken, New Jersey as a young child. In this oral history, they tell stories of their family’s house in Hoboken, which was previously a vacation home of Cecile B. DeMille and which they believed to be haunted; of their relationship to their mother, an artist who was diagnosed with breast cancer when Aviva was a teenager and died when they were in their early twenties; and of their own decision to pursue a career in art and their experiences in art school. Aviva also talks about their relationship with Israel, where their father had lived on a kibbutz in the 1970s, including their early Zionism, time spent in Jerusalem, relationship with Israeli family friends, and changing politics around Israel.This interview might be of interest to those who want to learn about the relationship to Israel among American Jews in the early 21st century, Zionism and anti-Zionism, and the early life histories of artists.
Lindsay Zafir is a historian of social movements and gender and sexuality, with a focus on queer activism in the second half of the twentieth century. She is also a former labor organizer and the editor of The Forge: Organizing Strategy and Practice, a journal by and for progressive organizers. She is currently developing an oral history project on the community organizing group ACORN.
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.”