Do you have photos in your family album with amazing stories that go with them? Maybe you have a stash of picts stored in a bureau drawer or photographs hidden in a shoebox in the closet.
Thomas Allen Harris and the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion project –DDFR–wants to see your family photographs, hear your stories, and videotape your narrative.
In all their complexions and variations, these chronicles are the fabric of the history of Americans. “Thomas want to create a movement for people to see the value in their family archives and history,” says DDFR outreach director Greg Warren Jr., “And, we want to reach all the Diaspora.” The varied populations that make up Brooklyn are invited to participate.
Joining with the Brooklyn College Community Partnership, from Oct. 16-18, Harris is bringing his team of listeners, lookers and documenters to Brooklyn College to engage the Brooklyn community along with BC students, faculty, and alumni in sharing their family histories through family photos. Dozens of campus groups will take part in the innovative project.
Also called the ‘Flatbush edition’, the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion wants you! “We’re looking for all ages, races and ethnicities; high schoolers to retirees will be participating,” says Warren. “We want people to unlock their family archives and tell their story.” Project director Harris says, “The stories in your family album definitely form your life.”
All are invited when the DDFR project culminates on Oct. 25, in a multimedia version of ‘show & tell’ revealing the diverse individual and family stories from the extended Brooklyn College community. The evening will feature the personal reflections from many of the individuals who participated in this unique partnership and will be streamed live on several social media platforms. The grand finale will take place at 5pm at The Student Union Building: Gold Room.
Harris has previously taken his project, which he calls the ‘roadshow’, from New York City to Maryland and Atlanta where residents shared pictures and legends unlocked from family photo collections. He’s been invited to large family reunions.
Harris’ team has seen hundreds of contributors since 2009, the project’s start, and has looked at thousands of photographs. The oldest photograph they saw was from the late 1800s. “We plan to see hundreds each day,” says Warren, referring to the Flatbush edition of the DDFR.
This is the first Digital Diaspora Family Reunion and campus-wide collaboration. It’s the biggest event DDFR has had.
A reservation to show one’s photographs is made by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 212-281-6002. At the set appointment, participants with their photos in tow–their family album, their box of pictures–will either join a photo-sharing group or have a one-on-one interview. Walker explains, “I will know which is a good fit.”
The stories that go with the images will be videotaped.
“DDFR brings into the public realm stories and histories that would otherwise remain outside of the larger collective narrative,” says Harris.
The Digital Diaspora Family Reunion gathering of photos will be held between 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. in two venues at Brooklyn College on Oct. 16-18. Contact DDFR for an appointment.