Online Workshop 0.3: Photo
January 27th, 2014
Our beta seven-week Transom Online Workshop has 35 learners on six continents. (Feel free to look and listen at their Facebook Group). We’re proud to present a few of our favorite works from their first 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, arranged in this order: beginning, middle, and end.
“I am really afraid of the police. If a police man appears now, I will run away. They don’t like to see we boys gathered because they always think we are planning something.” —Ronson, job seeker, Lagos, Nigeria (by Samuel Okocha)
“My husband recently left me for an 18-year-old. I woke up one day in Jupiter, Florida and said, ‘You know what? I’m going to New Orleans.’ I checked with a mechanic to make sure my car was okay and drove here three days ago.” — Mamie, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (by Mark Bernstein)
“During the war, Mesta Machine had 5,000 workers; when I was laid off they had 300. I turned to alcohol, that cost me my family and my house. Money is everything, I don’t care what they say. I can guarantee you if I was a multimillionaire, my wife would have never left me.” —Ronald Kraft, 70, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (by Anna Samuels)
“In 1970, there was an earthquake in Ancash, Huaraz and some houses fell apart, but I didn’t understand; I’d never seen an earthquake. The whole town of Yuncay disappeared — 70,000 people gone. The earth can open up, and you can die.” —Lima, Peru, translated from Spanish (by Mia Warren)
“When I was six years old I got jumped, a knife at my throat because my mom didn’t pay a drug dealer. I know what can happen in the dark, anytime, for real” —Young woman on the street, Burlington, Vermont, USA (by Jessica Ticktin)
“My daughter was fine one day and gone the next. She passed on four children and their father left them right after she died. I just say, ‘Please let me live at least five years to get them on the right track.’” —Loretta, Somerville, Massachusetts, USA (by Carly Nix)
“I’m a homeless traveling hobo, and I don’t fear nothin’. I used to be afraid of failure, and so I traveled as a musician, moved to Hollywood, and slingin’ powdered cocaine — I had everything! Then I renounced all my worldly possessions, found Jesus Christ and I fear nothing — Jesus doesn’t like cowards.” —Victor, Chicago, Illinois, USA (by Alexander Salazar)
“I’m afraid of being forgotten. I served five months of a seven month sentence for a DUI and nobody wrote or came to visit. That caused me to have a lot of emotions that I couldn’t express in jail.” —Ryan, homeless, Snohomish, Washington, USA (by Nina Packebush)
Photographs and text by TOW-ers: Mark Bernstein, Carly Nix, Samuel Okocha, Nina Packebush, Alexander Salazar, Anna Samuels, Jessica Ticktin, Mia Warren.
The TOW Mentor is Scott Carrier, author, photographer, professor, and radio producer. Thanks to the Knight Prototype Fund for support.