Escape from the Killing Fields: The Courage and Strength of Hoy Yi

“to listen to the many stories of others in our community enlarges our sense of the whole community sharing a common history  …these stories enliven and enrich our sense of community”  – Listening Project participant

How often does one get to ask a loved one, “What was the happiest moment of your life?” or “What are you most proud of?” or “How do you want to be remembered?” Occasions rarely arise for shared reflection in everyday life.  The Petersburg Public Library’s Listening Project is recording these meaningful conversations and ensuring that personal stories live on for generations to come in our community.

The crux of the Listening Project is that interviews are between two people who know and care about each other. They can be a mother and daughter, husband and wife, childhood friends or any other mutually caring relationship. It is also a conversation in which the participants choose what they want to talk about. A trained facilitator is present throughout the interview process to help guide participants and to record the conversation. Recording technology is kept simple and the questions focus on evoking a great conversation.

Click here to listen to a sample of the project, the story of a Cambodian refugee, Hoy Yi’s journey to Alaska.

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Petersburg Public Library’s Listening Project gathers stories from Petersburg residents ranging from the sobering experience of one local resident from Cambodia who escaped the Khmer Rouge, to the charming tales of the Short brothers sharing their experiences growing up in Petersburg. The Listening Project seeks out community members from all backgrounds to gather and share their stories. It preserves our history, expresses our diversity, and promotes understanding. It is produced in partnership with KFSK Public Radio and made possible by funding from the Alaska State Library, the Alaska Community Foundation, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.