My World IS 230

Welcome to one of Working Playground's network ArtSpace blogs!

This blog is a part of an afterschool digital photography My World model program at Intermediate School 230 in Jackson Heights, Queens. It will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, in the library, from 3-5pm.

Essential Questions:
How can my world educate and inspire me? How can I educate and inspire my world?

Foundation Statement: The Unites States is a county of immigrants, a "melting pot" or "salad bowl" of diverse cultures and identities. Jackson Heights is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the world. Through writing, storyboarding, and photography, students in this program will explore the art of storytelling, focusing on their own cultural identity and family stories. A workshop with a professional journalist will train students to ask questions and work in the field. Trips to the Y Gallery and the East Side Tenement Museum will look closely at immigration perspectives. Students will create a photo slideshow of their work in January. 

In the Spring, students will delve into the world of zines. Since the 14th C (before blogs), marginalized citizens all over the world have created their own leaflet styled publications as a way to give voice to their ideas. By being challenged to answer the question, "What about your world makes you angry?" students will choose a topic they would like to research through the internet, through first-hand interviews with community members, and through the lens of their cameras.  Each student will conceivably create one handmade book and zine with an edition of 10. The final project will be a group zine with a circulation of two to three hundred. Field trips include the Queens Museum of Art and the MET. 

Thursday, November 1, 2007


What do I know about my own or my family’s immigration story?
What can I learn from my family about our immigration story?
What does is mean to be an immigrant?
How do I tell a story with words?
How can I tell a story with photographs?

We've started a new unit looking at what it means to tell a story, through text and/or photographs. We've been talking about immigration, given that Jackson Heights is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the world, and trying to get at our own immigration stories—or if not ours—than we go home and ask our parents.

On the second day of this unit we had some students read their work aloud, Donald read: (click on the image to enlarge)

And Tasnima shared with us: (click on the image to enlarge)

Once our stories are written we start to sketch them out, imagining how we would tell the story visually. We use Working Playground's tool, Storyboarding as a Graphic Organizer. It's important here to think about composition, creating CLOSE-UPS as well as WIDE SHOTS, but it's also necessary to think about SEQUENCE, meaning the order of the images. Here's an example done by Fariha, who picked out IMAGERY from Tasnima's story and did a brilliant job imagining extreme close-ups, regular close-ups, medium shots, wide shots, and even extreme wide-shots. Click on image to enlarge.

We've also looked at photo essays with text, like The New Americans, by writer Ruben Martinez (US citizen of Mexican/Salvadoran origin) and photographer Joseph Rodriguez (US citizen of Puertorican origin).

A lot of us are interested in documents, photographs, or objects that somehow tell a story about our family's histories. From The New Americans, here are some images that do that in an interesting way, including the person in the image:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Photograph by Daniela
look good but it doesn't
show your emotions but it does show
a suitcase which brings most
of my attention