4100 Redwood Rd #406
Oakland, CA 94619

Housing is a Human Right: Stories from the Struggle for Home

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Housing Teaser


Fort Greene Laundromat patrons listening to HHR audio
Sign informing Laundromat patrons at a Fort Greene Laundromat exhibit of HHR
Michael Premo and Rachel Falcone at Fort Greene Laundromat exhibit, photo by Craig Warga
A senior tells his story for the project




Human Development: Children, Land, Poverty, Shelter & Housing, Social Exclusion, Urban, Youth
Human Rights: Civil Rights, Race Politics, Social Exclusion
Information & Media: Culture
Politics: Activism

Project Geography

US: National, Louisiana, New York
International: Africa

Identity Niches

African American, Children, Latino


Raised to date: $17,500.00
Estimate to complete: $682,500.00
Total Estimated Budget: $700,000.00
The budget numbers above are accurate as of 11/29/2010



Media Type


Project End Use


Key Personnel

Michael Premo and Rachel Falcone

Michael Premo and Rachel Falcone are independent producers who are dedicated to drawing on the rich traditions of oral history to illuminate the experiences of people living in the darker corners of society. Their goal is to modernize traditional methods of oral history by “remixing” the findings—audio narratives photographs–into public art installations and perfomances that speak back to the neighborhoods from which they came. 

Working together on such interview-based projects as StoryCorps, StoryCorps Griot, EarSay, Inc., and independently, they have recorded hundreds of stories across the country, honoring experiences through listening.

DJ Oja
Assistant Producer and Mixing/Mastering Engineer
DJ Oja is an educator, producer and DJ/turntablist whose life work is to create, connect & be part of the global movement to build community. He is an engineer / producer with Earthdriver live arts collective (and record label) and the owner of Sun Sound/Sunchild Productions which has provided sound design for TV (Sesame Street, etc), live theatre performance (Osage Avenue etc) visual art shows, live musical performances (Toni Blackman, etc) festivals and conferences (United States Social Justice Forum 2007 & 2010, etc) and radio programs.

Jennifer Carr MacArthur
Community Engagement and Program Consultant
Jennifer is a media professional with over 12 years of experience in programming, licensing, distribution, marketing and outreach for independent, alternative and social issue media projects. She recently produced StoryCorps Griot’s national oral history tour in partnership with NPR and the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian. Current clients include Emmy® award-winning filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris’ Digital Diaspora Family Reunion Roadshow, and the national outreach campaign for the documentary film Beyond the Bricks.

Outreach/Engagement Plan(s)

DISSEMINATION: Housing is a Human Right will be broadcast and presented through a variety of traditional and new media outlets, including radio, print, Internet, CD and public exhibition. We hope exhibitions in public spaces will bring together diverse factions embroiled in controversies surrounding public space and affordable housing.

ARCHIVE: Recordings will be archived in publicly accessible repositories, making it possible for these oral histories to live on, and be experienced and utilized for generations to come. Stories of Homestead Squatters will be archived at the The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University. Other locations TBD.


The Puffin Foundation$800.0001/01/2010
New York State Council on the Arts$10,000.0009/01/2008
The Puffin Foundation$750.0005/01/2008


Short Synopsis

Housing is a Human Right is an ongoing documentary portrait of the struggle for Home. Composed of oral narratives and photographs, along with testimonies and memories of home, woven and remixed, this international collection of viscerally honest, first-person narratives aims to serve as a reminder that home is as tenuous a space as the shelter that sustains it.


Produced by Michael Premo and Rachel Falcone, HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT is an ongoing documentary portrait of the struggle for home.

We create a space for people to share stories of their community and ongoing experiences trying to obtain or maintain a place to call Home. We are building a collection of intimate, viscerally honest narratives exploring the complex fabric of community and the human right to housing and land.

While the government puts out binary statistics on homelessness—as if one either simply has a home, or doesn’t—thousands more struggle and hustle every day to maintain meager, sometimes makeshift shelter that falls short of a “home.” These are the voices drowning in the cracks of a country, and a world, where the tired and poor masses now huddle on the corner.

Beginning Housing is Human Right in New York, Brooklyn-based artists Michael Premo and Rachel Falcone chronicle the lives of these individuals: A woman whose dream home was foreclosed on while she battled cervical cancer. A small business owner on the verge of buying her first home spirals into debt after her successful store is displaced to make way for luxury apartments. A slumlord quietly moves an elderly couple’s belongings, piece by piece, from their home of 20 years into a barely habitable apartment to make room for higher paying tenants.

All stories are recorded in sound and images and will be archived and broadcast through a variety of traditional and new media outlets and public exhibitions, with a strong interest in contributing to organizing, advocacy, and education campaigns. Our growing list of community partners include Picture the Homeless, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), Pratt Area Community Council and the National Economic and Social Rights initiative (NESRI).

The project has exhibited stories through public exhibitions, film festivals, events, screenings and listenings. We launched with nearly a dozen audio stories and photographs at Wash and Play Lotto Laundromat, a functioning coin-op, in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, in Fall 2009, sponsored in part by The Laundromat Project. The project has since shown at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, SUPERFRONT Gallery, Adriala Gallery, and Chashama Studios as part of "Art as Action" program of the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning. 

Housing is a Human Right is also producing special projects, including Mandela’s Promise: A Dream Deferred, an exhibition and webisode series offering a glimpse into the lives of South Africans surviving against the odds as they struggle to realize the promises of a new South Africa, what Mandela pledged would mean “a better life for all.” More at: http://housingisahumanright.org/category/special-projects/


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