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The Divided Families Podcast aims to provide a platform for connecting stories of family separation.

For updates, follow us on Instagram at @DividedFamiliesPodcast, and contact us at dividedfamiliespodcast@gmail.com

Divided Families Podcas‪t‬ Divided Families Podcast

    • Gesellschaft und Kultur
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The Divided Families Podcast aims to provide a platform for connecting stories of family separation.

For updates, follow us on Instagram at @DividedFamiliesPodcast, and contact us at dividedfamiliespodcast@gmail.com

    Ep. 26 | "When a Family Separation Becomes Permanent" with Chris Outcalt

    Ep. 26 | "When a Family Separation Becomes Permanent" with Chris Outcalt

    In this episode, Eugene sits down with freelance journalist Chris Outcalt, who published a piece in The Atlantic in August 2020 titled "When a Family Separation Becomes Permanent." The article can be found here: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/08/ice-family-separation-death/614335/

    Eugene asks Chris about his process of writing the piece, which details the story of Idrissa Camara, an immigrant from West Africa living in Colorado who lost his wife while being detained by ICE. Afterwards, the two discuss the various facets of family separation, which can include issues of mental illness and have broader effects on a community such as trust immigrants' trust in public resources.

    For updates, follow us on Instagram at @DividedFamiliesPodcast, and contact us at dividedfamiliespodcast@gmail.com

    • 33 Min.
    Ep. 25 | Birthright AFRICA with Walla Elsheikh

    Ep. 25 | Birthright AFRICA with Walla Elsheikh

    Walla Elsheikh is the co-founder and CEO of Birthright AFRICA, which is committed to providing a free educational trip to Africa for all youth and young adults of African descent in the US. She was born in Sudan and raised there as well as in Sweden and Uganda before immigrating to New York City. In this episode, Eugene speaks with Walla about what inspired her to embark on such an ambitious project, and why it is so important to know one's heritage.

    For more on Birthright AFRICA: https://birthrightafrica.org/
    Also on Instagram as @birthrightafrica

    This conversation was recorded on July 7, 2020.
    For updates, follow us on Instagram at @DividedFamiliesPodcast, and contact us at dividedfamiliespodcast@gmail.com

    Chapter Markers:
    0:00-1:22 Paul introduces the episode
    1:45 Eugene and Walla introduce Birthright Africa 
    4:46 Walla discusses her own childhood and identity moving from Sudan to the United States 
    9:14 Walla gives an overview of how Birthright Africa works 
    12:27 Walla discusses how Birthright Africa is adapting to a digital format 
    13:51 Eugene and Walla discuss how she pivoted from a career in finance to education and entrepreneurship
    18:56 Walla and Eugene discuss the concept of Pan-Africanism in the context of Birthright Africa
    22:10 Walla shares her hope for the narrative of Africa that shes hopes to portray through Birthright Africa 
    24:13 Walla shares standout stories from Birthright Africa of belonging and solidarity
    28:33 Walla and Eugene discuss how visiting one's motherland at a young age can serve as a touchstone memory for the future
    32:43 Walla shares her hopes for Birthright Africa and message for serving the future

    • 37 Min.
    Ep. 24 | Confronting Family Holocaust Histories with Iris Tzafrir

    Ep. 24 | Confronting Family Holocaust Histories with Iris Tzafrir

    Iris Tzafrir is an Israeli resident in the United States who writes and speaks about her family’s stories of surviving the Holocaust and about being the descendant of Shoah survivors. Compelled by her son’s school history project to speak publicly about her father’s memories of the Holocaust for the first time, she and her siblings finally decided to join their father in visiting the physical sites of the Holocaust, including the concentration camp where their father was detained. In this episode, Eugene asks Iris about the emotions carried by survivors and their descendants, the courage needed to confront traumatic pasts and the possibilities found in the process of retracing family history and reuniting with long-lost, separated relatives.

    To read Iris Tzafrir’s article about her family’s story: https://onbeing.org/blog/touching-our-trembling-places-a-generational-story-for-yom-hashoah/

    Watch a short video about Iris' family reunion:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoPdB3lecVA

    This episode was edited by Quinton Huang.

    For updates, follow us on Instagram at @DividedFamiliesPodcast, and contact us at dividedfamiliespodcast@gmail.com

    Chapter Markers:
    0:00 Paul introduces the episode

    2:30 Eugene introduces Iris Tzafrir

    4:30 Iris introduces herself and her father

    6:00 Iris’s son’s history project sparks a re-engagement with family history

    12:15 Iris talks about a trip with her father and her siblings to places of significance to her father during World War II

    16:10 Iris discusses her and her siblings’ emotional responses to visiting the physical sites of the Holocaust

    17:45 Iris and Eugene discuss the decline of historical memory among youth about the Holocaust and concentration camps such as Auschwitz, and the role of education about genocides and tragedies in world history

    21:18 Iris continues her account of visiting Holocaust sites and talks about how her father’s words at Birkenau made her think about the nature of the horror of the Holocaust and World War II

    24:07 Iris talks about her father showing her and her siblings one of the barracks at Birkenau, like the one where he slept during the War

    26:11 Iris reflects on the courage of her father in revisiting his traumatic past and sharing it with his children

    28:15 Iris talks about how she and her siblings would debrief after visiting Holocaust sites

    29:40 Iris discusses her newfound conviction in sharing and commemorating the memories of her family members

    31:00 Iris talks about how her desire to piece together the stories of her relatives brought her to the tracing services of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and a surprising discovery

    34:10 Iris explains how different relatives arrived in Israel unaware of each other’s presence, and how the trauma of the Holocaust delayed family reunion

    36:23 Iris talks about the “immediate sense of kinship” after connecting with long-lost relatives in Israel, and telling her father about the survival of his sister

    39:00 Iris discusses commemorating relatives who were murdered in the Holocaust, and correcting a family memorial

    41:30 Eugene asks Iris about the title of her book “Touching our Trembling Places” and the significance behind the symbolism

    45:30 Iris talks about the confusion of victimhood and “the strength of moving from being ashamed”

    47:15 Eugene closes the discussion by reflecting on the healing power of “telling your story”

    • 49 Min.
    Ep. 23 | Tracing Family Histories at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum with Steven Vitto

    Ep. 23 | Tracing Family Histories at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum with Steven Vitto

    Steven Vitto has been a researcher at the U.S. Memorial Holocaust Museum for over thirty years. With deep expertise in examining documents both physical and digital, he has reconnected numerous families over the years. In this episode, Paul talks to Steven about specific stories of family reunions and the work that leads up to them. One resource Steven mentions are the Arolsen Archives, which was formerly known as the International Tracing Service. Based in Bad Arolsen, Germany, the archive is overseen by an international committee of 11 countries.

    For more information about the Arolsen Archives: https://www.ushmm.org/remember/resources-holocaust-survivors-victims/international-tracing-service

    For information about Oral Histories at the USHMM: https://www.ushmm.org/collections/the-museums-collections/about/oral-history/

    This episode was edited by Katherine Moncure.

    For updates, follow us on Instagram at @DividedFamiliesPodcast, and contact us at dividedfamiliespodcast@gmail.com

    Chapter Markers:
    0:00 Eugene prefaces the episode 

    1:36 Steven introduces his work at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and personal motivation to how he became interested in researching families

    5:31 Steve provides an overview of how families were separated during the Holocaust 

    9:10 Steve shares a story of a couple who was separated from the Holocaust and how he helped reunite them over Skype

    12:20 Steve shares another story finding information for a son of a Holocaust survivor about his father and his family 

    15:14 Steve explains the circumstances that kept these families separated, and what tools he uses in his research

    18:21 Steve discusses the range of research requests he receives from Holocaust survivors from 77 countries around the world

    20:15 Steve shares story of brothers from Poland - one who had stayed, and another who ended up in Nicaragua - whose grandchildren reconnected with each other 

    21:40 Steve discusses collections of non-Jews who were persecuted during the Holocaust 

    23:10 Steve gives an overview of the Arolsen Archives (formerly known as the International Tracing Service of the Red Cross)

    29:12 Steve reflects on some trends he has noticed from stories and circumstances of Holocaust survivors 

    32:52 Steve discusses the importance of finding stories across generations and his personal story of searching for his own family roots in Italy

    36:16 Steve mentions ways listeners can learn more about the work of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and its ancestry database project

    38:57 Eugene closes the episode

    • 39 Min.
    Ep. 22 | Reflections on 2020 and "ReFP 2021"

    Ep. 22 | Reflections on 2020 and "ReFP 2021"

    In this episode, Eugene and Paul look back on the Divided Families Podcast, one year later. The two also reflect on 2020 and possibilities for the future of the podcast.

    Stay tuned for new episodes in 2021, and thank you to all of our listeners for your continued support!

    For updates, follow us on Instagram at @DividedFamiliesPodcast. You can also contact us at dividedfamiliespodcast@gmail.com.

    • 31 Min.
    Ep. 21 | Centering Adoptees in National Adoption Month

    Ep. 21 | Centering Adoptees in National Adoption Month

    In our final episode of the season, Paul reflects on the stories we have featured in recognition of National Adoption Month with two other members of the Divided Families Podcast team, Liat Shapiro and Mailé Nguyen. Liat and Mailé share their experiences as adoptees, relating in different ways to the concept of "coming out of the fog" and the duality of adoption as an institution of both family creation and separation. Ultimately, they reaffirm the importance of diversifying stories of adoption and honoring the individuals at the center -- the adoptees themselves.

    Thank you to everyone who has listened to our podcast this year. We look forward to sharing more stories with you in 2021!

    For updates on our forthcoming season, follow us on Instagram at @DividedFamiliesPodcast. You can also contact us at dividedfamiliespodcast@gmail.com.

    This episode was edited by Maggie Deagon.

    Chapter markers:
    00:00 Maggie introduces the episode
    01:46 Opening remarks from Paul
    03:35 Discussion with Mailé about White House proclamation for National Adoption Month
    05:42 Liat shares her adoption story
    07:47 Mailé shares their adoption story
    10:25 Connections to South Korea
    13:39 Liat discusses her work with Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission (KKOOM)
    16:05 Discussing the Side by Side Project
    18:49 The importance of sharing adoptee experiences
    22:00 Reflections on "coming out of the fog"
    27:21 The duality of adoption as family creation and separation
    36:43 Mailé's call to action
    39:00 Closing remarks from Paul
    39:35 Maggie closes the episode

    • 40 Min.

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