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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Paula is the manager of TJ Maxx in Albany and a Zumba instructor in Hudson. She is French and well liked in the community. She moved into Hudson in 1999 when her second child was still a toddler. After living in New York City and a friend from the French embassy introducing her and her husband to the city. She mentions that “ there was nothing” here. It was a small town, surrounded by farmland that reminded her of where she grew up in France. She mentions that gradually New Yorkers started gravitating towards the city and the business gradually became more sophisticated. Paula talked about how she never thought she would have ever migrate to the United States. She feels that through Zumba she gives people joy and one hour to let go of roles and constraints. Paula’s parents are both Portuguese who immigrated in the 60’s in search for a better life. Despite being in france for over 40 years they kept close ties and a house in Portugal. Paula grew up speaking portuguese. She mentions the love and friendship she has with her mother and in multiple opportunities she hints that the mother is very limited by her father. Paula mentions not having a good relationship with her father and each time she mentions it, she goes deeper into the reasons why including a traumatic experience. She briefly mentions having had cancer. She also mentions her sons and their relationship to having french parents.
When thanking Paula for the interview she asked the interviewer a few personal questions that sparked in Paula the desire the share more and she explicitly asked not to turn the recorder back on.
Isadora Vieira is a 33 year old filmmaker from Brazil currently working on a masters at The New School in New York city. Isadora is also of Portuguese origin and recently immigrated to the United States.
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.”