Thursday, April 02, 2020

Brooklyn Documentarian Encourages People To Talk About Their Changing 'Coronavirus Lives' As Part Of An Interactive Audio Project

Back in 2012, Pardon Me For Asking introduced  its readers to Jamie Courville, a Carroll Gardens/ Gowanus transplant from Texas.  At the time, Jamie was working on a series of audio portraits that are deeply moving and inspirational. "Audio portraits in the first person are an effective way to inform, educate, inspire and let people know they are not alone," she explained to us.

We recently spoke with Jamie, who introduced us to another audio project that she has been working on.  She writes:
"In November 2011, I started an “anonymous” interactive audio project called ListenBeHeard. I would post questions and invite people to call in and leave voice messages with an answer. The line was also open for anyone to vent about anything at any time. I decided it is time to dust off the project. 

Things are changing fast out there. I want people to call in and leave an anonymous (or not) message talking about the coronavirus. What is your life like now? What has changed in the last week? What is coming? What are you nervous about? What is overblown? I will collect and share the voicemails from time to time. I think it is important to have a record of this. Plus, it is cathartic to call. More info on my in-progress website here.

My work tends to focus on people going through life-changing or difficult circumstances, and often tries to make the world a less lonely place. If this doesn’t fit that bill I don’t know what does.

I think it is time to dust this project off. The new number is (516) 595-9365. Please participate. To do so, call or email a voice memo to That number is just for you. Nobody will ever answer that line and you never have to say your name. If you call the number, pick a place where you have the best phone reception possible.

Anyone have a guess on the first topic? Anyone?
What are you thinking about COVID-19? What is going on with the coronavirus?"

Please consider participating. Expressing ourselves on this topic may help relieve some stress. Besides, we all know we are all sitting at home with plenty of time on our hands.

Just as an aside, Jamie and her husband Chris Reynolds have been working on Gowanus Current for the past few years. Gowanus Current is documentary "chronicling rapid changes to a notoriously polluted neighborhood in Brooklyn. It explores the struggles of its stakeholders and the textures of a transforming landscape, asking what is truly valuable in a community."
To make a tax-deductible donation to help keep Gowanus Current going, please click here.

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