Our final workshop in partnership with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung for 2017, entitled “What’s Wrong With the Truth”, is a continuation from July’s “Grammar of Film” workshop with Stine Marie Jacobsen. Designed and organized by Marie Muracciole, Louai Kaakani, and Caline Matar – the directress, education manager, and education assistant of Beirut Art Center respectively – the workshop revolves around dissecting how we understand the concept of “truth” in literature and photography. Furthermore, it questions the complex relationship we have with truth in itself – do we always want to know it? – and the strategies of narration we use to wrap it or carry it with us inside of another form or narrative.
While “Grammar of Film” concentrated on ethical issues in photography and film through the construction of fictive cameras and the production of videos, “What’s Wrong With the Truth” introduces critical tools, such as photographic analysis, and literary tools such as story-telling and fiction writing to create a practical process to give students the opportunity to integrate life lessons and social truths in their final works.
Conceived as a 4-hour workshop, the workshop consists of 4 phases. First, a discussion on how we understand the “truth” and how it is integrated in different literary and visual mediums. Second, students choose two photographs to “read” and dissect in order to imagine and theorize a greater context to which their subjects belong. Third, students must use these contexts and observations they unraveled in the photographs to create their own story or fairytale, one that introduces not only the photographs but also the social realities to which they belong. Finally, students read aloud their stories and give the rest of the participants the chance to decipher what lessons and morals are nuanced in the stories.
The first group of participants was hosted on September 28th, 2017, bringing together the students from Wellspring, Basmeh, and Zaitooneh, and INSAN to group together to complete the workshop while the Yaabad Scout Troupe came in to conduct it on Friday 29th.