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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On Thursday, July 27, 2023, Kristina Samulewski interviewed Sarah Singh about her life story at the Sylvan Motor Lodge in Hillsdale, N.Y. This interview was conducted as part of the Oral History Summer School intensive.Sarah is an artist, historian, and community organizer living and working in New Orleans, L.A. She completed a B.A. degree from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at N.Y.U. and an M.A. degree in Twentieth Century U.S. History from Tulane University. Sarah creates abstract ink pen line drawings that play on traditional Southeast Asian portraiture.In this interview, Sarah shares slivers of her life story about growing up in New Jersey with a father who immigrated from Punjab, India and a mother who is half Russian and Polish. She describes her reason for attending Oral History Summer School and the project she is embarking on, “Chameleon,” which focuses on family, identity, generational mental illness, and healing. She also talks about her own identity as a mixed-race person and how it informs her way of being in the world. Sarah shares about specific memories of her life: going to camp, becoming friends with family members, her childhood dog Buddy, experiencing fall in Washington Square Park, eating mozzarella sticks from Ray’s Candy Store, living in New Orleans and working for the activist group, “Sunrise,” and how art presents the opportunity to commune with people. Sarah told her story during a summer thunderstorm and the rumbles of thunder punctuate her narration.This interview may be of interest to people who want to hear about navigating the complexities of family trauma and unspoken narratives, artist work, identity, and activism.
Kristina Samulewski is a first-time student at the Oral History Summer School. She grew up in New Jersey and is half German and Ukrainian. She has a B.A. in English, sociology and art history from the University of Vermont. Her current job is working in podcasting and audience work at The New York Times.
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.”