Sunday, March 3, 2013


The grassy knoll in Dallas, as seen from the Sixth Floor Museum
JFK FROM START TO FINISH: I'm from Brookline, Massachusetts, the birthplace of John F. Kennedy, and home to the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, located in the little house where he grew up. I was recently in Dallas, where I visited the Sixth Floor Museum, which documents JFK's assassination, and is located in the book depository where Lee Harvey Oswald took the fatal shots. Both sites make ample use of the recorded voices of people who knew JFK. At the birthplace, a recording of family matriarch Rose Kennedy narrates the goings-on in each room of the house, like the kitchen where little future president would eat cookies! At the Sixth Floor Museum, recordings of witnesses to JFK's assassination spoke of their perspective. I found the use of audio more affecting than video is or would be at either of the sites, as it more readily allowed me to project past events onto the present-day scene. 

"NARRATIVES OF THE 99%" EVENT THIS WEEK AT CUNY GRADUATE CENTER: This Thursday at 6:00pm at the City University of New York, Graduate Center, an event on "Storytelling and Occupy." As described on the event page: "Telling personal stories can empower storytellers, build community, and move groups to action. In the second year of Occupy Wall Street, how has storytelling moved from the encampments and assemblies to the various campaigns for housing, health care, and debt resistance, among others? What challenges do we face when documenting and archiving people’s personal stories? Join movement organizers from groups in and beyond OWS for a conversation about storytelling as tool for transformation."