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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This interview was conducted with Ariel Mejia on October 9, 2022 in Hillsdale, NY. Ariel Mejia was born in 1985 in Chicago, where she grew up and lives until today. She is the Audio and Community Storytelling Producer for Vocalo Radio in Chicago. In the interview she speaks about her childhood, growing up in the north side of Chicago and her parents living divorced. Throughout the conversation Ariel Mejia reflects upon her first activism activities in downtown Chicago and describes the great influence her older sister had on her path she chose to go. She discusses how through her uprising and her identity her values were shaped. After working for a while for a feminist healthcare collective in Chicago, there was a shift in her life in 2018 when she started to become more interested in vocally telling stories and becoming a radio producer. She raises the point that there is a lack of representation of stories that connect to her identity. Her central motivation until today is the healing process she can create when working in the podcast and radio realm. This interview may be of interest to those who are interested in the changing dynamics of Chicago throughout the decades. It can also be very inspiring for people interested following their ideas and in starting something new, as Ariel Mejia is a self-taught producer working a full-time job in a radio.
Erik Fanin (he/him) is a white 22-year-old man originally from Berlin, Germany. He did his Bachelor’s degree at Utrecht University in the Netherlands in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). He’s currently in a Master’s degree program of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany. He is interested in topics of migration, social segregation, and justice.
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.”