About the Collective Memory Project

The Collective Memory Project of the Lehigh Valley is putting a human face on the long history of immigration here. The Project includes a multi-lingual team of interviewers, organizers, photographers, academics, and students who have come together to listen to and record the stories of the various cultures that make up the Lehigh Valley.

The project challenges existing stereotypes about immigrants in several ways:

  • Encourages diverse audiences to engage with the arts in the Lehigh Valley
  • Highlights contributions of the recent and previous waves of immigration that have shaped and influenced the Lehigh Valley
  • Reminds the public that all people living in the Lehigh Valley are either descendants of immigrants or immigrants themselves
  • Focuses on connections and commonalities among immigrant groups in their reasons for immigration while preserving their unique languages and cultures
  • Increases opportunities for collaborative work among diverse ages and ethnicities and speakers of the many languages represented in the Lehigh Valley

Its first project is to record the faces and voices of the Valley through oral history and photography.  This will lead to an exhibition of photographs and oral history of recent immigrants and descendants of earlier waves of immigration, including those whose ancestors have lived in the Lehigh Valley for generations.  The interviews will cover how and why families chose to settle here, their memories of their original homes and their experiences here.  During these interviews, a photographer will take candid portraits of the interview subjects, and the group will collect artifacts such as old family photographs to further tell their stories.

For biographical information about the members of the Collective Memory Project, please visit: About Us.

For more information, contact collectivememory@sustainlv.org.

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