Ro(u)ted By Our Stories is an inter-generational oral history archive dedicated to capturing, preserving and sharing the stories of the Indo-Caribbean diaspora's silenced voices. This archive works to center the stories of women and gender expansive folx at various intersections of identity. We created this archive with the intention of staying true to the tradition in Indo-Caribbean culture of using oral histories to pass down knowledge, stories, history and information through generations. It is a living, growing archive of stories from communities who have inherited the legacies of indenture, rooted in histories and traditions of oral storytelling. With this archive, we are challenging normative ideas about whose memories are deemed "worthy" of being remembered.
While we are still in the very beginning stages of our work, our archive is still waiting to be filled with stories from people across the diaspora and acknowledge the current collection largely consists of young, Hindu, cis-gender women of Guyanese and Trinidadian descent living in the United States -- the most often represented demographics even among silenced voices. Our aim is to ultimately have this archive reflect the beautiful diversity that is the Indo-Caribbean diaspora. We also aim to make this archive accessible for people to contribute to, and welcome all stories regardless of technical details, such as audio quality. If you would like to share your story, see our Submit tab to learn more.
Access to Restricted Interviews
To protect the privacy of our archive participants, some oral histories are restricted to specific groups by protocols. This means only registered user accounts who have been added to that protocol will be able to access those interviews. If you would like to gain access to these collections and fit within the protocols description, please create a user account and fill out the form to gain access. All accounts require administrative approval and our team will do our best to review your application as soon as possible.
Guidelines for Listening:
The oral history interviews in this collection are intimate conversations among people who have generously and bravely agreed to share these recordings with our archive. For many of the participants, it is the first time they may have talked openly about their life experiences. The memories they share are deeply personal, and sometimes painful and traumatic, yet they want their stories to be heard and used to help break cycles of silence. Please listen to the interviews in the same spirit with which they were shared. We ask that you, as a listener, reflect on the impact your engagement with them might have. Listening to these interviews provides the opportunity to recognize the power stories have to inform and inspire, and to learn about history from someone who experienced it firsthand.
- The audio recording should be considered the primary source for each interview. Transcripts have been lightly edited, solely for clarity and accessibility.
- The interviews contain background noise which have been left in to provide the listener a sense of the physical places where the conversations took place.
- To more fully understand interviews, we encourage you to educate yourself about the historical context in which the events of the interview are taking place. When and where was the interview conducted, and how might these factors influence the content of the interview?
- Listen carefully to both what is said and what is not said in the interview. Reflect on what might be missing and why.
Finally, we are accountable to our storytellers and the ways in which they envision sharing their stories. The content management system we are using, Mukurtu, has allowed for us to hold this commitment, built by indigenous communities to manage and share digital cultural heritage. If you are interested in creating a digital archive like this one, we highly recommend using this platform because of their ethical commitments around questions of privacy, accessibility, and honoring sacred knowledge.