AnOther Suburbia is a dual oral history archive and performance project exploring the experiences of people who have felt "different" or marginalized in the Boston suburbs.
This initiative interrogates the idea that American suburbs are homogeneous, exploring the ways in which suburban locales function as sites of diverse and non-conforming experiences, identities, communities, and creative expression. Through investigating these topics specifically in the Greater Boston Area, AnOther Suburbia aims to shed light broadly on what constitutes "Otherness" in American suburbs, specifically focusing on the often overlooked experiences of LGTBQ+ people, Queer/Trans People of Color (QTPOC), and Black, indigenous, other people of color (BIPOC). How do place, race, gender, sexuality, history, belief systems, and technology intersect in suburban identity formation? What will we find when we drive beyond the dead-ends and cul-de-sacs? What is behind the white picket fence?
The first batch of oral history interview transcripts has been uploaded to our archive. More to come soon!
Our team is continuing with the ongoing process of soliciting and conducting the oral history interviews. Through these interviews, conducted virtually, participating narrators have the opportunity to convey their experiences in their own words and to have their stories preserved and shared on this site in the form of an audio recording and transcript.
If you are interested in narrating your experiences for AnOther Suburbia, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each interviewer is trained in and committed to oral history methodologies which empower participating narrators. Our team provides each narrator with details of the process and a comprehensive consent form to review prior to the interview. After the interview, narrators retain editing privileges over their interview and transcript.
In the works: an archive-based performance piece.
The second phase of AnOther Suburbia will draw material from the oral history archive to inform the creation of a devised theatrical work. The archive-based, interdisciplinary theater piece will transform, liberate, and embody the digital oral history archive by placing it in dialogue with the fields of queer theory and performance studies.
A work of community-engaged theater, the creative piece will prioritize public engagement, collaboration, collective imagination, and respect for all participants, and provide an accessible and imaginative platform to these hidden stories of suburbia. Ultimately, the performance work will further interrogate the overarching question of whose stories are told—and how—in the American suburbs.