Oklahoma Contemporary

Station 8

Station 8 audio

CONTENT WARNING: Discussion of sexual violence. Discretion advised.

The United Nations Refugee Agency reports that in addition to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees-issued quonset huts and tents, onsite renewables such as solar mini-grids are vital for refugee camps, “enabling refugees to pursue education, businesses and social enterprises, spurring innovation and exponentially enhancing the safety and well-being of people and communities, until such time that they can return home.”

Translated narration

Sang Rem, song lyrics
Oh distant moon, the crescent blade shining down
All alone, no older siblings nor younger
All alone, shining down across cordillera
All alone, no older siblings nor younger

I want to tell the story of Congo. Back home, is the place where I was born, and it is a nice place. The neighborhood was very nice. Even though there was war, the neighborhood was very nice, we had community. Neighbors would come to gather and talk about ideas and have fun, like playing soccer, and that did help us to think more. When I think of back home, I think of those good memories.

I’m in America. How I was raised back home helps me be a good person here in America. I always thank God for the way I was raised. That is the story I always wanted to tell.

When I was very little, a small child, I did music in church. When I was little, we would sing in church and we enjoyed that, singing in church, when I was very little. We would go play and take a bath in the lake. When we came back from the lake, we would take a trip to other villages to see a movie.

Those are memories that make me happy. It’s inside me. Back home taught me the right thing. I am thankful for the lessons I received back home, the playing and the movies. I pray to God for my country and for the leaders who are running the country. God help them so that they can bring peace to the country. I am happy, and I thank God for those memories, and God bless you.

When we were in Congo, life was really good. We would play. We had family there: aunts and uncles and siblings. I was 11 years old when the war started. I saw my neighbors die. Then we just had to flee. Some other people were coming from Congo. But that time we were in Goma.

That is how we connected with this group that was fleeing from another place through Goma. We decided to go with that group. When we were on our way, we would have to walk over dead bodies. While we kept going, we saw people with guns shooting people. I don’t know if they were rebels or the army because they didn’t have uniforms. It was a lot of people, children, and mothers. Some of the mothers were raped in that process. It was very sad. And where we had come from, you just have to walk. It’s such a long distance and some people were carrying their children. Some people were wounded but they still had to walk. It was very sad.

But home is home. And God helped us until we reached the country called Kenya. When we arrived in Kenya, we didn’t know anyone. We started the refugee process. God helped us. Life wasn’t that good, but we went to school. We were older but since we didn’t know English they put us in kindergarten with little children, even though we were past that grade. We finished our studies, and had to keep living that way until we came to America.

Lena Ross
Even though I am half Japanese, it was with studying Japanese and English that I was able to improve. However, it was difficult as I felt I lacked in both languages. As a child, my father did not like Japanese being spoken in the household, so until I was an adult, I did not have many opportunities to use Japanese. After high school, I returned to Japan, and when living with my grandmother, I learned the language for two years to be able to speak with her.

Audio narrators:

Lily Nguyen, Vietnamese American, speaking English. Recorded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Lena Ross, Japanese American, speaking English and Japanese. Recorded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Sang Rem, originally from Burma, speaking Falam. Recorded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Watimbwa, originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, speaking Swahili. Recorded in Buffalo, New York.

Edith, originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, speaking Swahili and English. Recorded in Buffalo, New York.

Video figures:

Janae Leonard
Watimbwa and Mwangaza Babingwa
Taylor Geldart
Lily Nguyễn
Lena Ross
Maria and Tom Ta
Carina Evangelista
June and Philip Knoerzer
Aqueira Oshun
Gerald Ramsey


Monday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Closed Tuesday

Wednesday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Friday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

see additional holidays


Visit us at 11 NW 11th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Phone: 405 951 0000
Fax: 405 951 0003

Oklahoma Contemporary
P.O. Box 3062
Oklahoma City, OK 73101

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