Los Caminos de La Vida
In April 2019, the People's LES began a series of oral history workshops, titled Los Caminos de La Vida, in collaboration with senior centers at University Settlement and Grand Street Settlement. This workshop series, coordinated and facilitated by artist and educator Ro Garrido, was inspired by our desire to explore oral history as a collaborative practice of gathering, preserving, and interpreting local histories and voices from the Lower East Side. Considering the various immigrant histories present within the Lower East Side, we also wanted to focus these workshops on the lived experiences of immigrant seniors in our neighborhood.
In these workshops, conducted in both Spanish and Cantonese, we facilitated and recorded group interviews where seniors were asked to share and reflect on their history of migration, the history of the neighborhood, and their vision for the future of the Lower East Side.
We also facilitated a collage art activity where seniors were able to create with different paper materials including photos from the People’s LES archives. We also worked with Cristóbal Guerra, an interdisciplinary artist and photographer from San Juan, PR, to capture portraits of participating seniors. To learn more about Cristóbal Guerra’s work visit cristobalguerra.com.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.