Vanport Oral History Screening

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Oral histories! So good! Everyone who’s interested, please go to this and report back to me how wonderful it is. I’m working that day and can’t make the screening. But I do intend to visit the exhibit of archival photos and maps from “Vanport: The Surge of Social Change,” co-curated by Oregon Black Pioneers.

A quick note about the screening of oral history documentary films:  The organizers let me know the films are not captioned. But if anyone requests ASL interpretation, they will provide it. Hopefully that means that there will be a well-lit area right by the screen where an interpreter can be seen well. I’ve been to screenings where they didn’t light the interpreter or have captions. Oops! So if you want ASL interpretation, please do not hesitate to contact them. Here are details of the screening.

“Lost City, Living Memories:  Vanport Through The Voices of Its Residents” Two Black women, one older and one younger, sit on a sofa and look through photo albums. In front of them, a digital camera recording video of them.

Saturday, October 22nd
2:00 – 3:30 pm
Portland State University’s Smith Memorial Student Union
Browsing Lounge Room 238
1825 SW Broadway

The Smith Student Union is physically accessible, and it’s close to the transit mall, many TriMet bus lines and the Orange and Green MAX lines.

Tickets ($5 plus fees) available at Eventbrite.

This is part of Portland State of Mind, which runs October 13th – 22nd. Portland State of Mind has tons of arts, lecture, and interactive events covering a huge range of social and cultural issues and topics. Check it out.

The Lost City, Living Memories is a series of community-produced short oral history documentaries, featuring former Vanport residents sharing their memories. Through archival footage, historic photographs, and compelling first-person narratives, this collection of short films creates a rich and elaborate “mosaic” of the vibrant community that made up the city of Vanport.

Some other details about the screenings:

  • PCC Cascade History Professor James Harrison will answer our questions. He is currently conducting research and is in the early stages of writing a comprehensive social history of Vanport City and its impact on Portland.
  • “Story midwife” Laura Lo Forti, Vanport Mosaic co-founder, will update on the on-going participatory oral history project and how you can get involved.
  • Former Vanport residents will share their memories.
  • Portland author Zita Podany will be signing copies of her book “Images of America: Vanport

For more info: or 510.717.2441

Tickets sale supports their on-going effort to capture, honor, and preserve the many silenced stories from Oregon’s past, so that we can better understand our present.

This event is co-hosted by PSU’s Department of History, Portland Center for Public Humanities,  the Oregon Historical Society, and the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.