In 2008 right after retiring, Wendy Allen took a course in oral history and digital storytelling at COHDS given by Anna Sheftel and Michael Klassen. Her first project used an oral history approach to present portraits of the people at the heart of the international development projects she had worked with. She also made short videos documenting the stories visiting scholars at COHDS and a Concordia participant in an exchange project with Uganda.
Since 2016 she has been a participant in Atwater Library’s Digital Literacy projects using video as a way to explore, reflect, learn and create. Projects have ranged from using her photos to create a video about her time in China in the late 70s, to the Promenade Parlante, a place-based research-creation project in Shaughnessy Village (a partnership with Concordia and the Atwater Library). She has also conducted interviews with Nakuset, the Executive Director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal and Susan Bronson, Heritage Consultant/Architect.
In 2020, she interviewed four academics from Montreal about “rape culture” on college campuses as for COHDS’ Feminist Futures Project. She also began working on La Ville Extraordinaire:Learning from older Montrealer’s urban knowledge through oral history research-creation, a 3-year SSHRC Partnership project as a member of Atwater Library’s Living History group.
Living History Project at Atwater Library
International project between COHDS/CVAP and Gulu University