Tuesday, July 07, 2009

We did a very fun workshop with Latina girls from Casa de Esperanza last night. Maddy and Hannah worked with me to teach and we went to Izzy's icecream afterwards to talk.

Hannah had some interesting thoughts about the stereotypes we have identified for the sections (she can go into it in more detail) . But in summary, she felt they were too soft. If what we are exploring is not the stereotype that everyone can say "oh, I know that is not true...not all Muslims want to kill me" but we are exploring the residue power that has on us in more subtle ways that result in us staying away from others...then maybe we need those stereotypes to be what stereotypes are: UGLY.

What would you not say out loud? That Christians are self-righteous and think I am going to hell because I don't agree with them? That Jews are trying to dominate the world and control all the money and don't care about what others need. That Atheists have no moral center and think I am stupid for believing in God.

worth thinking about and sharing your ideas...BEFORE friday at 9 a.m. Because that is when the Structure group is going to get together and write the open intro and interstitials.

So get your thoughts in to the blog.


Monday, July 06, 2009

Great!!! Meetings yesterday. Such fantastic ideas and energy. Undercover is coming together with wonderful insights. This is an important program and you will all take it to the next step!

General update on the sections we worked on. Get more info on the blog

Structure group (Kirsten, Rachel, Maddy, Annie) NEXT MEETING: Friday, July 10 at 10:00 a.m. At Barbara's house to write script.
-talked about the core information that needed to introduce the program:
Who we are
Why we decided to do this
Visual introduction to the kind of thing we will see
Why these specific religions
Stepping into experiences (instead of staying away)

Basically came to the conclusion that while we may not believe the big stereotypes...really, the residue of that stereotype permeates our perceptions and hence we avoid these groups of people. Making it harder to get along and connect with each other.

In summary for each segment was:
Muslims are terrorists. We know that is not true, we don't believe the big hype...but we do feel they judge us and look foreign and scarey...so we stay away.

2. Jewish people are an exclusive club that is not easily accessible. They are stuck in the past and have these weird outdated rules. We don't want to offend so we stay away.

3. Christians are evangelical and want me to change. I feel judged so I stay away.

4. Atheists are very intellectual and all tied up in science. They think I am childish and stupid for believing differently than them. So I stay away.

The idea is that each section will have a iconic image to introduce each section while you hear girls voices saying the above ideas.

Muslim- Najma walking away from the camera in full hijab
Jewish- Maddy lighting Shabbath candles
Christian-a girl in a church reading a bible
Atheist-Kirsten at a chalk board or white board writing an equation.
"We wondered what would happen if you took God out of the equation"

Group decided that statistics didn't make sense-given the personal nature of the experiences. And to avoid other religions, since we don't have time to get into them. (Those can be included in the outreach). We will wait on the outro conclusion plan until we are a little further along.

The introduction piece will be framed around a little of the history. And will be the group shooting the interstitials...and talking directly to camera (or other interesting creative ways to introduce information—ie. A note on the log sheets, a line writing on the sidewalk in chalk, an email or text message, a phone call). This section will be fast fun and answer the questions that need to be set up. Who are we, what are we doing, why, how and why did we choose to focus on the sections we did.

Group will be getting together on FRIDAY, July 10 at 10:00 to work on the script and shot sheets for the intro and interstitials.
SHOOT DAY is scheduled for July 18...(the one day that both Maddy and Hannah are in town at the same time!). EVERYONE PLAN ON SHOOTING ON THIS DAY...it will be a full day.

MUSLIM section: Molly, Hannah, Kirsten, Maddy
The drive malfunctioned after falling off the coffee table. So this group did not view the material yet. We are loading a new drive today. We talked about not using much of the steps interviews but including the Iman’s interview, the interview with Suhra, the prayers and Ramadan and bedroom interviews (particularly with Saida and Najma) and then the experience of buying and wearing hijabs. Introduce what Islam means, the reason people wear the hijab, that it is a choice people make and that it identifies people as different and what that feels like. Do not think we need to shoot any more material.

JEWISH section: Maddy, Molly, Hannah
We want to open up the beginning of this to address some of the issues of What does being Jewish mean. Addressing the perceptions of separation and weird ancient rules that don’t make any sense. Then Why did we choose Shabbat as the activity. What is Shabbat. Experience the Shabbat-- Highlight the rules and how they shifted from confusing to comforting. End with Havdala and Saida’s reflection room. Include Fishman’s market, bedroom interviews, people on the streets, rabbi, etc.
Maddy will get more material on her hard drive today and the group will talk on Friday, July 10 and pass off the hard drive to Hannah and Molly for review and beginning edit on July 11-18... Then it gets passed back to Maddy for edit. Do not think we need to shoot anymore material.

So we are on our way. More soon.
Atheist group meeting.
Hannah, Molly, Kirsten, Anne and Rebecca met Sunday, July 5th.
Group please add more notes to blog. I will post this their as well in hopes to create a conversational component to this.)

First we talked about Unaffiliated and its really being separate from Atheism. They talked about asking the entire group about how it fits in. Maybe it is incorporated into every section. We shared that many of the interviews and people we spoke with about being unaffiliated still seemed to have a belief in god. We decided to shelf unaffiliated and request a group discussion. It would be great to get something going on the blog!

Hannah shared her experiences viewing the sequence and interviews. Her sense was that the next piece shot really needed to focus on community and connection. Kirsten added that in the other sections there is a real sense of sharing in an experience and that they needed to find a way to accomplish this in the Atheist section.
Everyone felt this could be done in the group coffee time and moved onto to discussing what people, what they, are interested in knowing about atheism. Rebecca will speak with Bjorn about joining their next gathering or creating our own.

Points that were brought up to discuss during our gathering:
What stories are in the news about Atheists? Where and what kind of information is the public getting? (Kirsten will research this and share with the group prior to our meeting)
Look at and talk to them about Atheists side of standing up for their beliefs. Talk about separation of church and state.
What is their feeling of religion as a whole?
Discuss the treatment they receive / what are the perceptions people have of Atheists.
Talk about community. We hear community discussed a lot in the context of religion and its meaning to people. And because Atheism is not a religion and does not have a central meeting place people seem to wonder why they would come together. Yet we know they do. We talked about humans, even the most introverted, needing social connections. The girls shared that their experience with Atheists (their peers who identify as Atheists) is that it feels individual and given there is no designated building icon, etc. What brings them together?
Do they share family gatherings, traditions/holidays... What events bring them together?
Talk about the convention and its purpose.
What do they enjoy about coming together?
What were their personal journeys? How did they come to this place, when did they know / identify as Atheists?
Where is Atheism around the world? (Molly will research this)

The idea is that this will be a real conversation/connection as opposed to an interview feeling. Questions will be loose and conversational. IT will be getting personal and sharing stories and an understanding.

They also discussed wanted to get a couple youth interviews. They are thinking about their peers to see if anyone who identifies as Atheist would be a good interview. Rebecca will also check with Bjorn to see if he could identify someone(s) for us.

Our hope is to get this completed ASAP. I will update after I speak with Bjorn regarding scheduling a video shoot.

Hannah passed the drive onto Annie to view.
We had some really productive meetings yesterday. We created the outline for our intro and interstitials, which we will be shooting on July 18th. If you are a CG make sure you can be there! We need as many of us as possible to be there. And trust me, you won't want to miss it.

After a quick jump off Barbara's table, the Muslim section hard drive was making interesting noises and refusing to function. But don't worry, we have the footage on another drive. The Muslim section will be meeting again this Tuesday from 7-9pm and Friday starting at 4:30pm. The interstitial section will also be meeting on Friday, starting at 9am to script the intro and interstitials. For the Jewish section, we need the rest of the footage (bedroom interviews, Fishman's etc), but after we get that we have a clear plan for finishing and editing. Thankfully we don't need to shoot anymore.

So that's the update for now. I wasn't at the meeting for the Atheist section group, but I heard it went well.