Documenting ordinary things

My older sister Jean teaches writing at Indiana University east. She and I sometimes talk about how a writer can bring the voices and lives of ordinary people to wider notice.

She’s recently developed a course that gets students to write about “real people and real events,” and then get that work out of the classroom to a wider public. I think it’s a great way to use the arts — read this article, and see what you think:

I think there are some interesting paralells to her class, and what we do in churches — learn to listen to, learn to really see other people, and figure out ways to integrate the arts into ordinary lives.

One thought on “Documenting ordinary things

  1. Administrator

    Comment transferred from old blog

    Thanks Dan! It was a very cool class, and a great exhibit. Nearly 100 people showed up for the opening. In our small blue-collar city that’s pretty remarkable — for “art”! The exhibit moves in a month to an another gallery; I’m going to Haverford College this summer to present about the exhibit, and hopefully the students and I will be on the road with it in the fall.

    But anyway, yes, this simple idea of presenting one’s own reality in photographic images and in text is very powerful, and effective. The students in the course were able to express complex truths about their own community and the reality of life around them. They spoke clearly and passionately about others, and in the process came to know themselves.
    Comment from writewrite – 4/27/05 7:38 AM

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