Wing Young Huie “Chalk Talk” Photography

By , August 26, 2012

Our first night together we looked at the work of Wing Young Huie. Mr. Huie , born in Duluth currently lives and works in the Twin Cities as a photographer. He has spent a considerable amount of time asking himself the very questions we asked ourselves through this activity. Based on the University Ave Project in Minneapolis Huie’s photographs confront many divisive social issues, such as cultural bias, immigration, religion, and social disconnection.

Contrasting points of views are engaged when viewing Huie’s  photographs demonstrating how what we perceive to be true may be open to interpretation.  By asking “What do you see?” a dialogue is facilitated before revealing the stories behind the photographs. Participating in activities such as this in a safe environment such as camp allows deeper discussion into the complexities of cultural and personal perceptions.

How are we impacted by the daily consumption of countless images created by marketing forces, the media, and popular entertainment? How can we differentiate our authentic selves from idealized realities? Do we become what we see? In other words: How do photographs form us?

Huie’s photographs allowed students to better see and understand their own perceptions of themselves as well as of  others. Through participation in the “Chalk Talk” lesson Huie developed for his own photography work along University Ave in Minneapolis students interviewed each other. Choosing another manoomin student they may not have known too well students asked open ended questions provided and interviewed each other.  They asked the  following questions:

1 Describe you life in one word.
2.What advise would you give to a stranger new to the area?
3.What is your favorite word?
4. How do you think other see you? What don’t they see?
5. How has race affected you?
6. Describe an incident that changed you.
7. What are the hopes and fears of a person your age?

It proved to be a welcomed activity, uncomfortable at times but good for us to do together.

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