Two middle schoolers ask people in Portland, Maine, "What would you do if you were President for a day?" Here are their answers. Produced by Maddie Morrison and Grace during a one week Documentary summer camp.
This multimedia story is written and produced by Madeline Curtis. Maddie created this piece as part of a multimedia workshop in the winter of 2012. The prompt was to write about your home and tell a story about something that happened there. We recommend pairing this piece with that of Maddie's brother, Oliver Curtis, who produced a piece about the same house, but with a very different spin.
Two middle school students, Milena and Grady, produced this piece about Rafael "Rif-Raf" Alvarez during a one week Documentary Camp.
This multimedia piece is written and produced by Edna Thecla Akimana, an asylum seeker from Burundi. Edna, a recent highschool graduate was a member of our Young Writers & Leaders program during the 2014-2015 school year. She chose to write an original piece about the state of affairs in her home country, including images of the unrest sent to her from friends still in Burundi and images she found on the internet.
This multimedia story is written and produced by Oliver Curtis. Oliver created this piece as part of a multimedia workshop in the winter of 2012. The prompt was to write about your home and tell a story about something that happened there. We recommend pairing this piece with that of Oliver's sister, Madeleine Curtis, who produced a piece about the same house, but with a very different spin.
Two Maine international high school students, Clautel who is originally from Cameroon and Yann from Burundi, have produced a radio piece on "what it feels like to be gay." This topic came about for them when they went out on the streets to do a Telling Room vox pop audio project. One group asked "Tell me a story about when you did something for the very first time." They met a middle-aged woman who spoke of when she first went to a gay bar in the 1970's and how it was the first time she felt accepted, understood, and a part of something in her whole life. Our student, Clautel, was blown away by this and couldn't believe she had gone through so much of her life not feeling understood. Clautel wanted to know more - so he and Yann invited three LGBTQ Portlanders in to be interviewed about the topic. These students are part of our program called Young Writers & Leaders, for international high school students living in Portland, Maine. More info on the program here: bit.ly/1eJ7Qds
“Fishnets,” was all the scraggly, doddering woman said on Thursday night.
Her mouth twisted, slashed into a smile; the ridges of them beginning to shrivel.
“Fishnets,” she’d said again and again and again,
whispering until even the silence had become annoyed; to such a point, it began
casting her voice back to her, to fill its absence. For she mustn’t notice that it too had left.
“Fishnets,” drawled the midnight sky, turning in and in and in;
rolling head over heels, for all the people below.
A few more fishnets for Friday, Saturday,
and Sunday too.
Fishnets until the meaning of the word had left her mouth, and all that remained,
was the implantation of the letters on the soaking ridge of her tongue;
in the far back of the cavern, at the very apex of her throat.
In wake of her word, languages arose, like planets in the void, or
jutted landscapes on the Earth below.
Languages that the woman herself could not speak, but somehow knew.
Like the bright blue plastic net within her hands,
which left behind slivers of parted skin and speckles of deep red ash.
“Fishnets,” cawed the woman Tuesday night, shambling down to the cusp of the waterline,
ankles shuttering and clasped by the wind that breached them; hands curled far too tight,
around the light dipped mesh.
Taunting the damp sand with the horizon of her toes, she stood,
a smirk blossoming across the field of her face.
She raised her arms; up, and up and up,
cast the net over the illuminated casket in the sky,
ignored the shrieks of stars and lamentations of wind; and all the protests - that were suddenly below her.
When the other side returned, she clasped it, pulled, and pulled and pulled;
until the moon had crumbled from the sky, and fallen to the lake below.
She continued on, trailing for a few more steps into the water, pulled once more;
and again, and again, and again - dragged that beast upon a shore, stared on as the dollop began to
swallow the grains of sand on the bed below it.
She turned her head from side to side; admiring her works done. The sky twirled on,
the stars scratched and scratched until they couldn’t. The moon remained upon the shore,
swallowing sand, drawing it into its heaving chest, tendrils of light fleeing from it’s edges,
scorning the distant sky.
The woman went to the moon wrapped in fishnet.
The newfound child placed her hand upon it’s forehead, smiled, and spoke:
“It’s good to see you old friend.
How about we speak again?”
During our "Everybody Has a Story" Documentary Camp 2012, one of our students, Toby, approached a man painting fisherman shacks on Widgery Wharf. Toby was hoping to interview him about the wharf's history. What resulted from that interview and subsequent visits to the wharf, first with pen and paper, then with camera, was the story of this man, Jackie Grant, and his life on the sea.
Toby told us that he realized that everyone, no matter their job, age, lifestyle or outward appearance, has a story to tell. He was surprised at the kindness and openness of Jackie Grant and how easy it was to talk to him and get to know him. I believe those 21 students, aged 12 to 18, felt more a part of the community at the end of that week than they had before.
Toby's multimedia piece created with audio and photography went on to place as a semi-finalist in the 2012 New York City Digital Waves Youth Media Festival Multimedia Slam put on by WMPG's Blunt Youth Radio Project and WNYC's Radio Rookies.