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Radio Diaries: Diary of a Saudi Girl
In a country where women aren’t allowed to drive, Majd Abdulghani wants to be a scientist. From the age of 19 to 21, Majd has been chronicling her life with a microphone, taking us inside a society where the voices of women are rarely heard. She records herself practicing karate, conducting experiments in a genetics lab, and fending off pressure to accept an arranged marriage. In her audio diary, Majd documents everything from arguments with her brother about how much she should cover herself in front of men, to late night thoughts about loneliness, arranged marriages, and the possibility of true love.
For 20 years, Radio Diaries has been giving people tape recorders and working with them to report on their own lives and histories for public radio. With this approach, Radio Diaries has helped create a new form of citizen journalism and has produced some of the most acclaimed and innovative documentaries ever heard on NPR. When it comes to Radio Diaries, “The characters grab you, their stories crackling with passion and truth”, according to The Washington Post. Ira Glass says: “Radio Diaries stories do the rarest thing that any kind of journalism does. They truly make us see what it would be like to live someone else’s life.”
In this program at UnionDocs, Radio Diaries will pull back the curtain on the unique process of producing audio diaries, and will present their latest diary, from a young woman in Saudi Arabia, in its entirety. Radio Diaries Executive Producer Joe Richman and Producer Sarah Kate Kramer will facilitate a discussion after the screening.
Sarah Kate Kramer joined Radio Diaries as a producer in the summer of 2012. Sarah first got hooked on collecting stories as a StoryCorps facilitator, then traveled the world with a microphone for a few years before settling down in her hometown of New York City. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Morocco, where she produced radio stories and an oral history project. Before coming to Radio Diaries, she was the editor of Feet in 2 Worlds and a freelance reporter for WNYC Radio and other outlets.
Joe Richman is a Peabody Award-winning producer and reporter and the founder of Radio Diaries, a non-profit organization. For almost two decades, Radio Diaries has helped to pioneer a model for working with people to document their own lives for public radio. Joe has collaborated with teenagers and octogenarians, prisoners and prison guards, gospel preachers and bra saleswomen, the famous and the unknown. Award-winning productions include: Teenage Diaries, Prison Diaries, My So-Called Lungs, New York Works, Thembi’s AIDS Diary, Mandela: An Audio History, Willie McGee and the Traveling Electric Chair, and Teen Contender. Joe also teaches at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. The LA Times called Joe “a kind of Studs Terkel of the airwaves.”