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. 

Sunday, December 9, 2007

ESPN reporter/editor

On December 3, ESPN The Magazine reporter/editor Ian Gordon came to the Photography Club to give an interview workshop! Students worked on open, closed, and follow-up questions. The idea is that we're going to start interviewing our family members and then, next semester, people on the street, so we wanted an introduction to asking questions. In the follow-up class we tried out our newfound interview skills by hitting up the guitar class, where we interviewed and photographed the participants. Check back soon for those photo essays!

Open-Ended Questions: Questions designed to get more information about the interviewee, or questions that do not have a “yes” or “no” answer or a factual answer; instead, you’re asking for opinions or feelings. These questions usually begin with WHY and HOW.
Closed Questions: Questions that lead to YES or NO answers or factual answers, like What’s your birthday? Do you like the Yankees? These questions usually begin with DO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, or HOW MANY?
Follow-Up Questions: After someone explains something that interests you, ask a question that you didn’t write down. Be flexible! Examples: Why did you feel lonely? You said you didn’t want to come here, why?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Recently we've been inspired by more of Joseph Rodriquez and the intense work he's done documenting gangs in East L.A. He put together a photo essay/documentary called East Side Stories. We talked about the difference between writing our own text and interviewing people to get good quotes to accompany our photographs.

We were particularly struck by this photograph because the mom doesn't seem to mind at all that her daughter is playing with a real gun. We talked about gangs here in New York and about how little we know. These photographs allowed us to see and learn about a world so different from our own. The caption reads: The morning after a rival gang tried to shoot Chivo for the fourth time. Chivo teaches his daughter how to hold a .32-caliber pistol. Her mother looks on. Boyle Heights, 1993.