Sonic Trace and Stories about Immigration in L.A.

KCRW is a public radio station and media organization whose mission is to create and disseminate news and cultural programming that informs, inspires, and stimulates. A community service of Santa Monica College, KCRW provides NPR broadcasts as well as a weekly schedule of more than 100 hours of original, locally-produced audio content through our broadcast signal, as well as online. KCRW is committed to embracing new forms of digital media that help build community and interactive connectivity with audiences.

One of KCRW’s newest projects is Sonic Trace, a hybrid public radio, digital documentary, and social media project that will engage Latin American immigrants in Los Angeles to share and record their stories about immigration and community. Stories will be gathered in three spots/puntos de encuentro in L.A.: a church in South Central, Koreatown/Korexico, and a mobile recording booth installed in a local food truck. The project will develop a social media platform where participants can share stories, photographs, and experiences. Selected stories will also be featured in a public radio series on KCRW. What will ultimately be created will be a multi-platform oral history mosaic about immigrants and their lives in Los Angeles today.

Sonic Trace will partner with community associations, local schools, parks, and restaurants to conduct outreach and gather stories. The Sonic Trace project team consists of seasoned radio producers, led by Anayansi Diaz-Cortes and Eric Pearse Chavez, along with KCRW staff, consultants/producers from NPR, Radio Diaries, and Radio Ambulante. Technical partners include Zeega, Voces Mobiles, and AudioBoo.

Los Angeles has deep roots in America’s immigration debate. While migration from Latin America to the U.S. is not new, the cultural make-up of recent immigrants and their relationship with their home countries is changing in this age of mobile communications. Sonic Trace seeks to uncover the unheard voices of immigrants in L.A. and record their stories of arrival, survival, and struggle. This project will provide a platform for immigrants’ experiences and perspectives, and engage and empower them to document their own lives in their own words. By recording and broadcasting their stories, Sonic Trace hopes to broaden and amplify the voices involved in the immigration debate and expand knowledge and understanding about immigration in our community.

Financé par Los Angeles, CA (August 2012)