By Ivan Mejia
LOS ANGELES – When future visitors to the U.S. Library of Congress listen to audio archives of the daily life of the people, they will find stories along with photos of the Hispanics who are currently having their anecdotes recorded by the StoryCorps organization.
“It’s important to record stories of Latinos with today’s vocabulary to have them as a reference,” Gabriel Higuera, coordinator of StoryCorps’ “Historias” initiative.
“And 100 years from now people who listen to them can hear how oral forms of expression have changed, as well as about what problems were facing the community, like racial discrimination and the economic situation,” he said.
Founded in 2003, StoryCorps is an organization financed with funds from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with the goal of gathering oral histories of ordinary Americans to archive them at the center of public life in the Library of Congress.
Some of the stories are edited and transmitted over National Public Radio.
Sacha Evans, spokesman for StoryCorps, told Efe that from last month through October 2010 the organization will have personnel dedicated exclusively to recording Hispanic stories in 20 cities around the United States and Puerto Rico, due to the importance of a segment that has around 50 million inhabitants in this country.
“We’ve named that part of the project StoryCorps Stories and in the first year we’re going to record 1,000 stories,” Evans said.
Anna Walters, supervisor of the mobile recording studios, told Efe that the format is for two people, either friends or relations, to sit in front of the microphones in a studio on wheels that stays parked in a city for a month, and assisted by a sound technician they begin to share anecdotes. “Some even bring musical instruments and sing,” she said.
“The launch of the ‘StoryCorps Stories of Latinos’ began in September with the recording of tales in New York, San Francisco and Puerto Rico,” Walters said.
“As a symbolic event the first recording was in Washington, where some members of the Hispanic group in Congress took part, including John Salazar (D-Colo.), who together with his brother, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, met to share their personal stories,” she said. EFE