The nature of our project requires us to favor particularly eloquent, outspoken individuals. Testimonies that are not only interesting and relevant, but are told with zest, show technique, and engage the listener will naturally move up in the priority queue, getting transcribed, translated, and published sooner than the others. That being said, sometimes incompetent storytellers are in possession of crucial information and eye-opening experiences. We sift through all testimonies to find these and make them available to the reading public.
We record only first-hand experiences. Hearsay will be dismissed, as will stories focusing on the experiences and tales of others.
Before you come forward with your story we advise prospective storytellers to complete the following self-examination:
- Do I want to share my experience? The stories collected for the clarification Oral history Project are not for private consumption. These stories are open for scrutiny to the whole wide world. Although we will, upon request, change names and redact selected passages, we would prefer to use real names and publish stories free of redacted text. Stalling and hesitating once you’re in our soundproof booth wastes both your time and ours.
- Is my story real? Sometimes we fail to distinguish between wishful thinking and things that really happened. This is exacerbated when telling our life story. When we narrate personal experiences, we all fall for the storyteller prejudice: unconsciously we spin the tale so that we always appear in a better light.
- Is my story relevant? If you are a clarified individual who kept to yourself, didn’t go out much, and had minimum interactions with other people during the Clarification, then you might not have a lot to say, even if your personal, mental experience might seem very relevant to you. If you are a non-clarified witness who kept out of the way, the same criterion applies.
- Is my story mine? Did my story happen to me or to someone else? If it happened to someone else, then we would like to hear him or her tell us. Circumscribe yourself to what happened to you. Do not appropriate the stories of others.
- What motivates me to tell my story? Why do you want to tell us your story? Are you looking for fame? Recognition? Celebrity? Are you motivated by revenge? Do you want to hurt others with your story? Or maybe it’s the opposite: do you want to apologize or defend others? Are you looking for redemption? Absolution? Do you want to set the record straight? Why?
- Can I prove my story? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Do you have the wherewithal to support your words?
- Will my story endanger the lives or the reputation of others? Be mindful of the repercussions of your words. Stories published in our project will circle the globe. If there is any chance that your story will put somebody else’s life or reputation in danger, tell us so we can redact it accordingly.
- Will my story endanger my life? If there is any chance that it will, we will change your name.
- Does my story provide any insight into the cause of the Clarification? Do you remember anything about that morning? Were you awake? Were you outside? Were you living near the Clarification epicenter? This is a very important topic for us.
- Does my story provide any insight into the Clarification Shift? If you were involved — directly or indirectly — in the turmoil following the Clarification, we would like you to concentrate on that part of your story. If you were involved, as a clarified individual or a non-clarified participant, in the Exodus back to Haiti, we would like to hear about it.
Remember that you can visit any of our offices. Find out the one nearest you in this map. If you would like to get things started online, fill out the form and hit send.