Oral History

Shannon recently finished the Oral History Master’s of Art program at Columbia University. Her thesis, Ambiguous Borders: Exploring the Definitions of Community in Red Hook, Brooklyn, focuses on the neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn and how different members of the neighborhood view their community. The project takes the form of an audio walking tour. The full interviews can be accessed by visiting redhookstories.org.

As a part of her coursework, Shannon also presented edited segments of interviews collected for my thesis through an interactive map. She designed the map using open geographic data and a map editing program called Mapbox. She attached physical buttons to locations important to her narrators and then built a simple Python program that allowed a Raspberry Pi computer to play the story related to each location when the button was pushed. The finished map is pictured.

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Shannon is a licensed New York City tour guide and previously worked for Turnstile Tours, a company that is dedicated to sharing the history of public spaces with the public. Turnstile Tours also has a goal of collecting oral histories from the people who interact with the spaces they offer public tours of.

Shannon assisted with the development of a new tour focusing on the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. She assisted with much of the original research and collected oral histories from those that have worked in or passed through the Terminal. She was a guest on BK Live talking about this project.

Veterans History from BRIC TV on Vimeo.