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Reminders To Prepare for Interviews

Leaf Pattern Design
  • Remember that you are being interviewed by people who are part of the communities you are part of in different ways – even as we may feel excluded from these same communities. The team is doing this work because we are a part of it, not simply because we are excluded from communities.

  • Remember that the stories you are sharing will be accessible to many people and the team's questions will reflect a sensitivity that honors non-disclosure of some topics.

  • Let the team know how you would like to access the Archive and interviews. We would love to incorporate your interests in the developing, final product.

Values and Practices Guiding Interviews

Leaf Pattern Design

Values Guiding the Team

  • Begin from a place that we all have a positive intention in our conversations, but that discomfort can still arise from actions led by positive intentions

  • Offer grace with respect to individual schedules, ongoing commitments outside these interviews, and each individual’s unique experiences for the topics we discuss together

  • Enter the space with a willingness to engage in healing in some form through conversation as opposed to letting harm fester

  • Recognize the importance of gradual work and slowing down so as to not operate from a place of crisis and rush

Practices Guiding the Team

  • Use non-verbal actions to offer affirmations and not take over the conversation, while also thoughtfully adding verbal affirmations to let the narrator know they are not alone 

  • If there is harm that is created by an individual in the conversation (to the interviewer or to the narrator), then a best practice would be to outreach directly to the “harmer” and dr. kehal (if  appropriate) so that an effort for repair and healing can be attempted

  • Interview sessions should offer short breaks to honor that we all have bodily needs and sitting for long periods can be painful


Self and Community Care

Leaf Pattern Design

Revisiting, sharing and reflecting on memories can be a very intimate and emotional experience. Our memories hold a lot of power, and can often bring up joy, celebration, and gratitude, alongside pain, mourning, and grief. Sharing these memories–some of which our bodies have processed and others that may not yet be processed–may leave one feeling very exhausted and tired as our body (re)metabolizes key moments in our life. For that reason, we advise our participants to take measures of care both before and after the interview. We have listed a few suggestions below that can be helpful to navigate the oral history process as intentionally as possible:

  • Be sure to tend to your basic needs to ensure that you are well rested, nourished, and hydrated going into the interview.

  • Based on what you end up sharing in the interview, it is common to feel physically and emotionally exhausted and heavy after the interview. We suggest continuing to get a lot of rest, nourishment, and hydration to allow the body to replenish and letting your body and mind process the interview experience and what it may have brought up for you.

  • Think about scheduling your interview on a day when you have a more open schedule to rest and tend to your needs after the interview.

  • Use self soothing practices that tap into your senses, practices that can be used before, during, after the interview. Some examples include stretching, dancing before or after the interview, having something soft to hold onto during the interview, or lighting a candle.

  • Kirtan can be a very soothing and grounding resource. We have compiled a playlist below with a few shabads that we hope can be helpful for you:

Professional Resources


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