March 9, 2016

We Are the Other

Get outside of your bubble. That was the charge of Wing Young Huie’s March 4 workshop at WAM. For the artist, getting people uncomfortable about equity and diversity is a narrative he has long explored in his photography work. His real competency lies in making every participant in his workshops comfortable talking about the same topics. Not just comfortable, but eager and open to “get outside your bubble.”

This was the second workshop the Minnesota based photographer conducted at the museum in conjunction with student groups WAM Collective and the Black Student Union. As a recipient of the University’s Office of Equity and Diversity Transformation Awards, WAM Collective is playing a role in the University’s campus community health by utilizing the arts to build bridges between cultures, bring people together regardless of background, and encourage conversations about misconceptions. During the two hour workshops, the Collective and Huie aimed to challenge not only students on campus, but curious community members young and old, professionals, and even aspiring photographers to think and connect with each other.

By posing questions on the meaning of identity and the modern day world, Huie encouraged self-reflection and reflection on the “bubble” we live in. Are any photos real anymore? What do you think other people see when they look at you, and what don’t they see?

As Huie led the group through the dissection and questioning of modern photography and culture, creating an open and connected conversation, participants asked each other meaningful questions, got involved in conversations, and learned about someone new and different.

They then took to the campus, engaging people who were not involved in the workshop. Participants asked these new found friends the same questions and had them write, in their own words, a message on a chalkboard that rang true from their conversation on the street.

The end result was the creation of a communal portrait of the UMN campus – a portrait of our community from our community’s point of view.

Below is a snapshot of the photos created. For all photos and photo credits, search #wambubble on Instagram.