Online Workshop 0.2: Photo
November 21st, 2013
The beta test of the six-week Transom Online Workshop (TOW) is underway: 24 learners on six continents spanning 20 time zones. You can look and listen in as learning flows from their Facebook Group. Here are a few of our favorite works from the Assignment 1: Photo Interview:
- Using a pen, some paper, and a camera interview seven strangers by asking the question: “What are you afraid of?” Write down what they say. Ask follow-up questions. Try to find a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
- Take the person’s photo.
- Choose the most interesting interview and edit it down to three sentences in the order of beginning, middle, and end.
“I am a single mom and I’m afraid not to have enough money to take care of my two children. I lost my identity documents in a flood in Oaxaca where I used to live. I clean cars and when I make 150 pesos, I buy chewing gum that I can sell for 200 pesos.”—Verónica, Distrito Federal in Mexico City (by Stéphane Vigneault)
“My first exposure was a terrible scene, a fatal motor accident with the brains all over the road, and the senior constable I was with just walked over, scooped them up off the ground and chucked them down the drain — he was that desensitized. There were no counselors or psychologists in those days, you just got on with the job.”—Allen, age 71, former Police Officer (by Kate Montague)
“I’m afraid of cockroaches because they’re disgusting. Last year I rented a flat with a friend and shortly after that there were hundreds of cockroaches because my roommate was not a very tidy and neat person. I put two boots on my hands and killed hundreds of cockroaches with these boots over the summer.”—Svetlana (by Mark Kelleher)
“I am afraid of failing. When I do fail, I feel miserable, close to depression. I am a street sweeper.”—Walderice, translated from Portuguese (by Luis Henrique)
“I fear losing my recognition that I am sober today. It has been 28 years, and I will deal daily with this fear for the rest of my life. I am powerless over alcohol.”—Sam Williamson, Chicago Union Station (by Fritz W. Musser)
“I’m afraid of not being what my parents want me to be; not meeting their expectations. It seems like a lot of pressure all the time, especially when they don’t notice I’m doing a lot to be the best daughter I can be; and it hurts when they don’t take it the way I want them to… I don’t try to explain. I just sit in a corner waiting for them to notice and they don’t.”—Malak Assad, student, marketing major (by Kim Fox)
“I’m afraid of being alone. We share ourselves with others because we’re all afraid of how much life sucks. If this world were a good place, we wouldn’t have the need to share so much.”—Murray (by Ivy Tzur)
“We did the organ donation deal where they – it’s a horrible thing – they bring the person in, they strap ‘em down; it looked like Jesus on the cross. They pull the plugs, and if they don’t expire within 90 minutes, they can’t harvest the organs. We’re begging her to die, you know, and Jill sat there with me for 21 hours after that and her mom finally died.”—Smiling Mike (by Bekah Johnson)
Photographs and text by TOW-ers: Kim Fox, Luis Henrique, Bekah Johnson, Mark Kelleher, Kate Montague, Fritz Musser, Ivy Tzur, Stéphane Vigneault.
The TOW Mentor is Scott Carrier, author, photographer, professor, and radio producer. Thanks to the Knight Prototype Fund for support.