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.
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This interview was conducted with Azouke Sanon in his home in Niverville, NY about thirty minutes north of Hudson, on Monday June 15, 2015. Azouke was born in the capital city of Haiti, Port au Prince, and grew up there before moving to Brooklyn, NY and finally to Columbia County, NY. Azouke describes his Childhood as rich in culture, especially music. He shares fond moments of growing up in Haiti as well as negative experiences, including the political assassinations of acquaintances. He discusses how Haiti has changed since he lived there, and the difference between life in Haiti and life in the United States. Azouke has strong and progressive political views about the environment, politics in Haiti and abroad, and expresses sadness over the disconnect of our global community. He discusses the events of September 11, 2001, his proximity to the World Trade Center, and the unity that embraced New Yorkers that day. He describes the different types of music and the artists who influenced him, especially Jazz. He philosophizes about religion, human responsibility and his hopes for younger generations.
Avery Lamb is a recent graduate of Bard College, where she studied Human Rights and Written Arts, specifically research on medical relief and public health as well as journalism. Her interests include the intersection of health and human rights, radio, writing, and other forms of documentation, migration studies, and art as activism. Her undergraduate thesis was a reflection on three trips to Haiti, and illustrated some of the obstacles in monitoring the adherence of non-governmental organizations to rights based principles. Avery is a co-founder of The Draft, an interdisciplinary student journal out of Bard College, and has worked as a research assistant at the Human Rights Project at Bard College and at Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees in Brooklyn, NY.
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.”