SFA Documentary Projects
Documentary projects are central to the SFA’s mission. Oral history interviews and short documentary films not only preserve the stories of our region for future generations, they connect us to people and traditions that most of us take for granted every day.
Since the formal inception of our documentary initiative in 2005, we have collected hundreds of stories—stories about barbecue and boudin, tamales and tupelo honey. We offer the bulk of our oral history archive here online, presenting full portraits of people on every page, celebrating their contributions to Southern food and drink. We also create resources for culinary tourism with our signature “Trail” projects, offering interactive maps that not only show you where to go, but introduce you to the people you’ll meet along the way.
Part of what we love about oral history is the possibility it presents in the classroom. Whether grade school or graduate school, oral history is a wonderful educational tool, and we enjoy collaborating with institutions and individuals to help us gather the stories behind the food. Conducting oral history interviews offers young scholars a unique opportunity to hone a variety of skills: communication, research, documenting, archiving, writing and more. Through the collection of fieldwork, students also have the opportunity to contribute to history, creating a primary source for use in future scholarly research. Oral history is experiential learning at its best. We invite you to use our collection as inspiration to develop curriculum ideas or a local project. Visit our Oral History page to learn how to conduct your own interview and add it to our collection.
Documentary projects are a wonderful way to give back — to a person, a place, or a community. We hope that our films and interviews do just that: give back to the people of this region who have dedicated their lives to the craft and culture of Southern food and drink.
We’ve only just begun.