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Sharing Stories With Oral Fixation’s “Lost In Translation”

by Adelina Sun 22 Jul 2014 2:23 PM

The idea of sharing your most personal experiences with a room full of strangers can be scary, but it’s all a part of the storytelling process that Oral Fixation encourages. Watch video from Oral Fixation’s latest installment, “Lost In Translation.”


Jean Congera, who is originally from Rwanda, was one of eight storytellers that took part in Oral Fixation's "Lost In Translation."

Jean Congera, who is originally from Rwanda, was one of eight storytellers that took part in Oral Fixation’s “Lost In Translation.”

Talking to a room full of strangers about your most private experiences can be a daunting task. But for those involved in Dallas’ Oral Fixation Show, it’s part of the process of their storytelling.

Since 2010, Oral Fixation has been dedicated to bringing the Dallas community together through the sharing of true and personal stories. Inspired by the Los Angeles storytelling scene and the NPR show This American Life, Nicole Stewart began the series after returning to Dallas and engaging in various parts of the area’s community. Having shared her own experiences, Nicole now helps those who want to tell their stories by working with them to edit and bring out the most of their storytelling experience. The public is open to submit their first-draft stories and from those, Nicole selects a variety of perspectives to bring together under one common theme. Art&Seek Director Anne Bothwell talked with Nicole earlier in June about the process of storytelling and why she founded Oral Fixation. And Lyndsay Knecht went behind the scenes of the editing process during Oral Fixation’s second season.

On the evening of June 20, eight storytellers took to the Horchow Auditorium’s stage in the Dallas Museum of Art as a part of Oral Fixation’s partnership with the DMA’s Arts & Letters Live program. Together, they shared stories that resonated with the idiom “Lost In Translation,” representing Dallas’ diverse population and a wide range of backgrounds. Art&Seek was there to capture their stories.

For some participants, telling their stories is about understanding themselves and healing. For others, it’s about giving hope to others. While the first-time contributors will admit their anxiety and nervousness before the show, the Oral Fixation experience proves to be worthwhile. In the videos below, these survivors, optimists, and storytellers share their journeys, hardships, and hope.

Jean Congera

Nkem DenChukwu

Shama Shams

Neopolo Ruiz

Marisela Jimenez

Katrina Simonsen

Julie Hersh

Belma Islamovic