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Mar 19, 2023 at 3:30 pm

Together, Not Alone

With Zip Code Memory Project, Beyond Declarations, Queens World Film Festival, Queens Memory Project & more!

UnionDocs is thrilled to co-present Together, Not Alone with an amazing group of Queens-based cultural organizations! Zip Code Memory Project  and Beyond Declarations in collaboration with the Queens World Film Festival, Queens Memory Project, A-Doc (Asian American Documentary Network), Union Docs, Five Boro Story Project, Stoop Stories and LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY, will present the NYC Five-Borough  ‘Together, Not Alone – Zip Codes Remember’ Tour on March 19, 3:30pm at The Local in LIC Queens. We’ll be screening short films telling the urgent stories of Queens residents during Covid, and a Queens/World premiere of the new short Together, Not Alone, followed by an engaged Q&A with filmmakers and the audience.

The event will open with refreshments from the Queensboro Restaurant who mobilized their resources to feed our first responders at Elmhurst Hospital Center as they became the epicenter of the epicenter. The repast will be accompanied by interactive participation in memory mapping, conversation, and activities designed to bring us together around our shared and lived experiences.

The screenings will kick off with a never-before-seen curated compilation of Queens Covid Stories by Queens based storytellers, oral historians and filmmakers marking the third anniversary of the Covid-19 shutdown. Curated with chronology in mind,  the shorts reflect the chaotic, urgent, completely unsettling start of the Covid lockdown and evolves into an eclectic, personal, quirky, emotional and consciously “historical” scenes, moments, deep periods of reflection, extreme generosity and forward “just keep going and moving” motion. They are documents that represent a range of storytelling techniques as well as the mission, vision and commitment of local Queens based front-line organizations, communities and residents – who came together then, and will come together on the 19th.

The shorts program will culminate with the Queens/five borough world premiere of Together, Not Alone, the 19-minute short Directed & Produced by: Peabody award winning filmmaker Judith Helfand and Gabriella Canal, whose doc short, Seasons, was awarded a 2022 Student Academy Award.  Their short, Together, Not Alone, a first for them as co-directors, was commissioned by the Zip Code Memory Project, who sponsored and designed the arts-based project that brought New Yorkers together after months of Covid-19 isolation. The short captures the energy, connective possibilities and collective loss/grief/wisdom of individuals, who responded to ZCMP’s call for participation, knowing that the focus would be on community building across zip codes. Through art making, memory exchanging, top of the heart poetry, movement and play, they move, map, remember and bear witness to each other’s struggles as they strive to imagine justice and repair.


queens memory

Queens Memory Project is a community archiving program founded in 2010 and supported by Queens Public Library and Queens College, CUNY. The project engages with Queens residents to both make the public aware of our local history collections through programming and online resources, and to continually add new materials to our collections from the diverse communities of Queens. The goal is to raise awareness and a sense of ownership in the creation of our shared historic record, and our dream is that all Queens residents who visit these collections feel their experiences and perspectives are represented. 

Queens Memory will sceen:  A Day in Quarantine In this video essay, Lily Deng details a “A Day in Quarantine” living with her parents and two sisters. 

Snapshots of Queens: Views from my Block – A compilation of crowdsourced submission to the Queens Memory Covid-19 Project and includes written accounts and images of our contributors’ relationship with their neighbors during the Covid-19 pandemic. Contributors include Nili Ness, Angela Shaw and Robert Sarnoff.


LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY was established in 1982 to collect, preserve, and make available primary materials documenting the social and political history of New York City, with an emphasis on the mayoralty and the borough of Queens. The Archives produce public programs exploring that history and its website provides a web database to the collections, which include more than 100,000 digitized photos, and nearly 2.5 million digitized documents. Their contribution for the evening will be Portraits of an Epicenter, a 6-minute film about LaGuardia’s students, documenting their experiences in Queens under the COVID lockdown

Screen Shot 2023-03-16 at 3.16.40 PM

Five Boro Story Project produces free community events that bring New Yorkers together through sharing personal stories and art inspired by our neighborhoods. Our hyper-localized public programs create opportunities to deeply connect with our neighbors and our neighborhoods through true life stories, song, poetry, dance, film, and discussion about the places where we live. The programs aim to strengthen community connections, preserve personal narratives, challenge negative perceptions of the outer boroughs and marginalized areas, resist erosion of local history and culture, and celebrate the diverse neighborhoods and people of NYC. They will be screening a 7-minute short featuring Manuela Agudelo.  Roller skating on the 34th Avenue Open Street became a mental health ritual that helped her cope with the devastating loss of her beloved Grandfather in November 2020. In this profile video for the 34th Avenue Oral History, she discusses what the Open Street means to her. 


The Asian American Documentary Association (A-Doc) is a national network that works to increase the visibility and support of Asian Americans in the documentary field. They welcome and include filmmakers who self-identify as Asian American, recognizing that this is a porous, evolving definition and encourage members from the broader Asian American community to be active. A-Doc will be screening two films out of a larger series of micro-docs that A-Doc commissioned during the height of the pandemic, knowing that their filmmakers had unique access to very personal stories on the frontlines of the pandemic: 

Home, Delivered by by Sarita Khurana – Under quarantine, South Asian seniors living in Queens, NYC find comfort with the help of a local organization. Filmmaker Statement: “I grew up in Queens, not too far from the epicenter of the pandemic in New York. I wanted to tell the stories of my neighborhood aunties and uncles who are now amongst the most vulnerable. I am inspired by the ways our communities continue to show up and take care of one another.”

Beyond Declarations (NYC) is a community engagement campaign that grew out of the 2020 film Cooked: Survival by Zip Code, produced by the Together, Not Alone Director Judith Helfand. This campaign is designed to help support the five borough’s of NYC as they learn about, seriously consider whether or not, and/or how best to leverage NYC’s Department of Health’s 2021 resolution declaring racism a public health crisis.  Based on who got hurt the worst and most by the Coronavirus in NYC, the impact of the disease was predetermined and sadly predicted by the public health data (which is made up of life-span gap data, diabetes, death from breast cancer, shooting deaths, infant and maternal mortality…) It could be just the time for each borough to consider how NYC-DOH’s declaration and this critical reframing of racism as a public health crisis can inform the long-term health of their borough and neighborhoods across all the Zip Codes of NYC.


13-02 44th Avenue
LIC, NY 11101 United States
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