Survivors of Torture, Rebuilding Lives in Los Angeles

It’s been an overwhelming experience to be working again with Hector Aristizábal and Julian Scharmacher, collecting oral histories from survivors and from their families.

We’ve been very interested not only in the experiences of the asylum-seekers themselves but also in what happens to the second generation, the people who are also affected by exile and trauma but who are too often overlooked.

We’ve met some extraordinary people but fears for safety–their own and their families’–has meant that many of these stories can’t be told.

A small brave group will open up onstage on March 23 and 24, and I am just beginning to post the narratives that have been approved.

You can find information about the free performances and read survivor stories as they go up at our website.

Mad Street Scene by Jose Ramirez

Mad Street Scene by Jose Ramirez

March 23, 2015 at Mercado La Paloma, Community Room, 3655 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90007 at 6:30 PM

Facility is ADA-complaint; Food available for purchase; Parking is free in the evening in the Mercado’s lot, on the street, and around the corner at DMV lot on Hope between W. 37th and Exposition.

March 24, 2015 at Cafe Club Fais Do-Do, 5257 West Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016

Reception and Cash Bar at 6:30; Performance at 7:00 PM

Restrooms at this venue up a flight of stairs. Street parking.

More to come over the next year so please keep checking in.

We are grateful to all the participants, to the Program for Torture Victims for their help. For the support that makes this project possible, our gratitude to the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and to CalHumanities, a partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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3 Responses to “Survivors of Torture, Rebuilding Lives in Los Angeles”

  1. Carol A. Hand Says:

    I look forward to hearing more about the performances, Diane, and reading more of the powerful stories posted on the website you shared. Thank you for sharing such important resources!

    • desilef Says:

      Thanks, Carol. I wish I could share all the stories but many of the participants have second thoughts about telling anything that can then be accessed by anyone in the world on the internet. There’s so much that people should know! But I will be adding more whenever it’s possible.

      • Carol A. Hand Says:

        I really do look forward to reading more, although the abuses people have suffered is so difficult to read about and the cruelty of others so difficult to comprehend. Yet the courage and resilience of those who survived is remarkable and truly inspiring. The work you do on projects like this is so important!

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