Digital Diaspora Family Reunion Roadshow At Brooklyn College

Brooklynites had the opportunity to take a look into the past in ways they never saw in history class at the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) Roadshow, sponsored by the Brooklyn College Community Partnership (BCCP) at Brooklyn College campus.

Award-winning filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris devised the idea for this initiative, which uses old family portraits donated by participants to connect the histories of people across the United States.

Lisa Simmons showed off family photos. Photos courtesy Chimpanzee Productions.

The event focused particularly on the people of the Flatbush community, and the extended community of Brooklyn College including students, faculty and alumni, who were all invited to submit their very own family photographs.

The show has already traveled to Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Harlem. “We hope to open people’s eyes to the treasures they have in their basements and attics,” event spokesperson Cheryl Duncan said. “And realize that their connections are so much more vast than their differences.”

The DDFR Roadshow spanned four days, with a grand finale scheduled for the last day. From October 16 through October 18, participants were encouraged to get involved in interactive presentations, featuring photo-sharing sessions revealing the hidden stories behind the photographs.

These presentations culminated at the grand finale on October 25, when select stories and the personal photos of participants were shared via several social media platforms, connecting the histories revealed at the event with people all over New York and the world.

The photographs and their stories will subsequently be collected and edited into “webisodes” shared by Brooklyn College, the BCCP and the DDFR Roadshow.

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