Saturday, November 29, 2008

Audio Geek & Turkey...

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. Like a lot of folks, I have my ambivalence about this holiday. It's a time for people to come together, sometimes family, sometimes chosen family, other times new friends who find themselves far from home. There's an opportunity for genuine thankfulness and gratitude in these gatherings and sharing of food, stories, laughter, etc. At the same time the popular story of the holiday that most of us get taught in school is problematic to say the least. The arguable victor gets to write the history, and that history has its definite omissions concerning indigenous people on the American continent. So in the spirit of engaging history, and moving towards a more inclusive historical portrait (small pox blankets, genocide, and all), I've included some links in the Endnote section. I'm sure there are others of which I'm unaware; if there are other better sites it would be great to learn about them.

The Third Coast International Audio Festival takes place each Fall in Chicago, Illinois. Even if you can't get to middle of the USA, the hosts, Chicago Public Radio, post audio and video from a number of the events on the festival website. Also, during the Thanksgiving weekend various NPR stations broadcast the winners of the eighth annual TCF / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition "represent radio at its finest: moving, insightful, surprising and sometimes even life changing." If you find yourself hooked, no worries. Chicago Public Radio hosts, Re: sound, a weekly program of radio stories "culled from around the world ranging from personal narratives to investigative documentaries, experimental sound art to humorous essays" and is hosted by "independent producer and essayist" Gwen Macsai (yea! women in radio/audio! The TCIAP festival staff is comprised of four women, with Macsai among their number). (above a shot of the vintage Studer A807 Professional reel to reel tape recorder - simply gorgeous!)

Re-examining the popular Thanksgiving Story: the "theme" of Thanksgiving versus the mythologizing of questionable history.
• "National Day of Morning" from the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Massachusetts (hotbed of Pilgrim pride)
• "Mistakes, Lies & Misconceptions: The Thanksgiving Myth" by John Two-Hawks from Native
• "Thanksgiving Information" a highly informative and thoughtful collection of information directed towards educators. From the Fourth World Documentation Project , later re-organized as Fourth World Docu-Program a searchable research database and archive of documents related to indigenous peoples worldwide, and a publications division, Fourth World Papers Program, both coordinated by The Center For World Indigenous Studies (CWIS).

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