Kabisha was first introduced to oral history & storytelling through the MapCollab project. MapCollab was a collaborative research project that centered youth identities in migrant neighbourhoods of Montreal and Paris, including Little Burgundy, where she grew up and currently lives. Over the course of this project, Kabisha was both participant and collaborator, sharing her stories and reflecting on those of other youth. The project and later engagement with COHDS taught her how oral history & storytelling can be used to disrupt dominant narratives and offer people spaces to contribute to collective histories. The focus on the research process, in addition to the product, are aspects that draw her in. Currently pursuing a Master’s in Epidemiology, with a focus in Environment, Kabisha is interested in the intersections of oral history & storytelling, health (epidemiology & public health), environment, and justice. She founded and leads the collective Reshaping Epidemiology & Public Health (REPH), which seeks to stretch the boundaries of these disciplines to better suit marginalized communities. Integrating critical thought on how one’s positionality shapes the type of epidemiology and public health that is done, Kabisha seeks to make space for oral history and related disciplines in the health fields.
The Black Experience in Montreal’s Little Burgundy: An Oral History Pilot Project
Currently, Kabisha is working with Dr. Steven High on an oral history project centered on experiences of Black community members in the neighbourhoods of Little Burgundy and Pointe-Saint-Charles. The project will also explore the experiences of other racialized and non-racialized members of these two Montreal neighbourhoods. Through narratives led and told by community members, the project aims to develop a narrative of past and present realities in Little Burgundy and Pointe-Saint-Charles to understand the changes that have and are taking place.