LEAVING HOME, FINDING HOME is a digital storytelling space by and for the immigrant women from South Asia residing and attending universities in the United States (South Asian countries: India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka). As a South Asian academic, immigrant, and digital archivist for this platform, I invite women who identify as South Asian to share their powerful stories related to immigration, identity, freedom, and equality. In collaboration with project advisors, Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara for Digital Scholarship, and Melissa H. Cantrell for Open-Access and Scholarly Communication, I will serve the role of an archivist by copying, recording, and preserving discrete and complex narratives shared by the South Asian women in academia. The forum is an open-access website for social networking, connecting with the fellow immigrant identities, and sharing and celebrating both collective and individual experiences.
Through this website, we can claim a collective identity while still celebrating our differences. I am creating this platform to better understand and to collectively negotiate our evolving identities as immigrants. I envision this forum as a powerful new “performance space” to invigorate an exchange on issues immigration specific for women from South Asia to the US.
Invitation to Participate in the Project
I would like to kindly invite you to this project…
You, the author/performer can use various mediums, such as, write your story or experience, submit a video, a sound file, and/ or a photo to ensure that you retain agency and ownership of your own experiences. By contributing your story to “Leaving Home, Finding Home” your story will be a part of a peer-reviewed, published collection of oral narratives. Scalar as a platform allows the users to incorporate media into the text.
The platform for this project, Scalar, has similarities with other host platforms, such as, WordPress, Wix.com, and Squarespace, and is specially designed for digitally storytelling. If you’re familiar with blogging and/or editing online, Scalar gives you more advanced options to archive your work. In case you’re a new author, Scalar can feel a bit complicated at first.
Scalar works as a media interface that is structured like a book. By browsing through the project site, and following the table of contents in the upper left corner of the page, you can easily navigate the project and explore the interconnecting paths that will allow you to access other projects on the website.
Please click on the link to the User’s Guide below to have a better perspective on how to access the website confidently.
Artistic Goals and Objectives:
My objectives as an artist and archivist are:
- Create a virtual community in collaboration with other South Asian immigrants in the US, based on shared experience that will hopefully result in greater levels of civic engagement by participants engaging in an informed conversation about Immigration within the US.
- Redefining audience-participant relationships in alternative theatrical spaces to initiate an encouraging dialogue regarding the issues of immigration and migration in the South Asian immigrant community within the United States.
- I’m exploring the horizon of theatrical performances— English, ironically, is the language that unites us at the same time the language of our oppressors, our colonizers. English as a language, perhaps, used as a tool primarily by men. When spoken and written language falls short, let us celebrate our own identity with images, songs, videos etc. by negotiating and managing this as we seek to make meaningful connections.
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Thank You for Your Support and Advice:
Prof. Beth Osnes
Prof. Marcos Steuernagel
Prof. Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara
Prof. Melissa H. Cantrell
Aspen Walker, Boulder Public Library
Imagining America and the PAGE Fellows