New York Memory Project: Carol Noymer
Keywords / Subjects:
Childhood, Family Story, Raising Children, Marriage/ Divorce, Dreams
Quotes from the Interview:
“Back in those days, I think elementary School, we did these drills where we would go under the desk to arguably -it would have been not good- protect ourselves from atomic attack.”
“Both my parents were immigrants, they came from Germany, they had to leave because they were jewish. My father came here in 1937, his family were in Jackson Heights, My mother went to England in 1946, it’s was a kind of American Dream I guess back then, they were able to mix and work. They had their own business”
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.