Salvage the Sound of Silence

Felicia Wu Chen

This installation is a part of Listening Through Time and Place: An Interactive Oral History Exhibit, OHMA's multimedia interactive popup exhibition of stories, which will take place at the Social Hall at Union Theological Seminary on April 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm.

On December 21st, 1994 a firebomb was detonated in the New York City subway system, injuring more than 40 people. Many were teenagers and single mothers on their way to buy Christmas presents for loved ones. Twenty years later on the anniversary of the bombing, survivors gathered to celebrate the lives they have lived and the joys they have found in the aftermath of tragedy. To quote a survivor, "We all experience pain, but God heals". In this oral history exhibition, you will listen to their life journeys and the moments that light up their lives.

Wu Chen is a Chinese student. She earned her B.A in International Politics and History from Nottingham University in China and is recent graduate of Melbourne University with a degree in psychology. Her interest is in historical trauma, including the victims of war, survivors of genocide, refugees, asylum-seekers and ethnic minorities. She hopes to study trauma from cultural, sociopolitical, and clinical perspectives, alongside the systematic study of oral history, to produce written records of historical witnesses and explore the impact of narration and remembrance in measures of resilience and strength.

A message from the 1994 New York City Subway Bombing Survivors, who collaborated with Wu Chen to make this project possible:

This event is so special for us as a group because on December 19, 2015 we met for the first time to share our stories publicly and in the audience was an intelligent young woman from the Oral History Master of Arts Program at Columbia University. We are honored that she and the Oral History Department of this prestigious institution recognize this human tragedy as an important part of New York City History. Thank you.

Charlene Wiggins

Brenda Carroll-Dowdell

Sheila Flynn

Rashida Warren

Read more about Listening Through Time and Place: An Interactive Oral History Exhibit.