Thursday, September 20, 2012

Randall Kenan Workshop

This weekend an amazing group of writers met with author Randall Kenan to give new life to old photographs.  You might remember reading about it a few weeks ago. 

Not only did these people speak to us, but sometimes they didn't, and that was one of the more surprising developments.  In the beginning, I insisted that people randomly choose their prompt photos; some just could not connect to the faces.  We discovered that we brought who we are individually and historically to the writing pad, sometimes in ways that could not be overcome.

In the safe environment of a workshop, it's okay to explore these things, and we did.  We laughed a lot too.  But mostly we did some writing that will astound you at the January 2013 exhibit.  More about that as the time approaches.

Look at these photos and think about what you assume is the story.  It's my opinion that if we open ourselves to the expressions and setting and arrangement of photographs, we can find a tale in every one.  In my own family, I can take a photograph of the five children and read my father's mood from our expressions; so it's possible to tell something about the photographer too.

It was a weekend of growth for those of us who participated. We grew as writers as was expected in a writing workshop. I think we learned something about empathy too both from listening to our fellow participants and looking into the eyes of those captured on paper.

Next week I'm going to go back to the idea of anticipation, inspired by something my yoga teacher said last night.  Stay tuned!


Carol said...

Perfect description of our time together, and such an excellent workshop. It made perfect sense that you would combine two things you do beautifully - writing and photography. Almost a week later I am still thinking about all the stories we shared.

mamie said...

Carol, Thank you for coming to the workshop and being a part of the January exhibit. I think this is the start of something big--my gut tells me it is.