Back by popular demand, Oral Fixation will bring seven new true stories told by immigrants from Texas. Every day we interact with men and women who have traveled far from home to make new lives in America. Ever wonder what it was that instigated such a major life change? Or what it was like growing up in another country?
These are the types of questions that will be explored in this special edition of Dallas’s hit storytelling series Oral Fixation (An Obsession with True Life Tales), produced by Nicole Stewart. The storytellers’ journeys and voices will inspire you, surprise you, and, quite possibly, break your heart.
In partnership with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s inaugural SOLUNA International Music and Arts Festival, Stewart will collaborate in chronicling the immigrant experience with Texas-born multimedia artist Monte Laster, who has been producing socially conscious work outside Paris for the last 20 years. Thanks to Big Thought, renowned Oak Cliff acoustic youth guitar outfit La Rondalla will perform throughout the evening.
Meet Ghazwan Altaie, an Iraqi humanitarian who recently moved to Dallas after spending 10 years as a refugee in Jordan; Cecilia Lazcano, who, after developing anxiety in reaction to the economic crisis in Mexico City, received a full scholarship to complete her Masters in Dallas; Vietnamese-born Linh Matthews, who at age seven boarded a pirate ship then floated on a raft to a refugee camp in Thailand before making her home in Highland Park; Mexican-born Francisco Moreno, who will share how he has confronted his identity as an American immigrant through his work as a visual artist; Basil Sideris, who was forced to flee his hometown of Tripoli during WWII to forage for food in rural Greece; Burmese refugee Se Da Oo Shay, who at age 19 became the central communicator between the residents of Vickery Meadows and the media and police during the Ebola crisis; and Peter Thiong, a former Lost Boy of Sudan who was forced to flee his home at age 12 and endure brutal life in a refugee camp in Kenya for a decade before making his home in Dallas.
This theme dovetails with the DMA’s initiative beginning in 2013 to host a US naturalization ceremony annually for recent immigrants.