New York Memory Project: Altagracia Diaz (in Spanish)
Altagracia is a 78 years old woman from Dominican Republic. She moved to NYC in 1978. Interview by Antígona González.
Keywords / Subjects:
Infancia, Juventud, Matrimonio, Amor, Maternidad, Comida, Reunión de familia
(Childhood, Youth, Marriage, Love, Motherhood, Food, Family Gatherings)
Quotes from the Interviews
“Me llaman todos los días para saber como estoy, nosotros nos cuidamos, es el único remedio que hay hasta ahora para esta plaga que hay ahora por el mundo, cuidarnos”
“Tan triste porque dejé todos mis hijos imagínese salí llorando y llegué llorando. Cada vez que iba eran unos llantos todito y todo. Peor como él me ayudo yo traje a toditos mis hijos los traje.”
“El parque Duarte de la Vega, me llevaban a matinée, unas películas infantiles que daban los sábados, muy bonitas. Me encantaban ya cuando estaba adolescente las de Joselito, Maria Felix, todas esas películas mexicanas me encantaban, nos íbamos mi abuelita y yo a verlas.”
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, FABnyc responded by dedicating staff time to aiding local efforts to calling senior members of the LES community to make sure they had all they needed during the lockdown. As we talked with the elders, we realized that beyond basic human needs, connection and conversation can also be meaningful, particularly for those with limited online access. Out of this realization came the New York Memory Project, which was taken on as an oral history project by artist and FABnyc collaborator Antígona González.
The New York Memory Project aimed to achieve a deeper understanding and create dialogue between the artist and the interviewed elders in order to communicate and share their (and our) truths, in spite of what we all were facing: isolation, uncertainty, and fear throughout these difficult times.
After recording several interviews, González has developed her own narrative of the project, and highlights interviews with folks who have lived through times of social injustice, political upheaval, personal growth, and, now, a global pandemic exacerbating all of the above. The New York Memory Project, in centering the artist’s experience and work, seeks to uplift the voices of the most vulnerable and yet most powerful of our community: our elders.