Caminemos Juntos

Press Coverage
Dotted Line

"Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it and change it as times change, are truly powerless because they cannot think new thoughts." - Salman Rushdie

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Caminemos Juntos (translated: "Let's walk together") was a collaborative storytelling project between Jovenes Inc, a center for homeless youth, and graduate students from Art Center College of Design's Media Design Practices program.

When presented with the challenge of telling the story of a disenfranchised group or individual, an all too common tendency is to frame the story through the lens of the social issue. In doing so, the issue takes on a greater power, building an artificial and singular narrative framework for engagement. Through this 10-week collaboration, we explored common misconceptions, stereotypes and our own unconscious biases related to homelessness. We ultimately found that in freeing ourselves from the topic, we were able to find our collective voice and help express the unique points of view of our three Jovenes collaborators.

Over the course of the collaboration, we employed a variety of methods for creative expression through facilitated design sessions. In each session, the jovenes worked through different media, such as writing, drawing, poetry, video documentation, and photography; as well as different methods for engagement, such as personal reflection, journaling and team-based exercises. Our work culminated in an interactive installation that included an original song ('The Road I Walk'), video projection activated by Arduino foot sensors, and print media. Exhibit participants were invited to "step into the shoes" of the three Jovenes youth - Kevin, Marlon and Lorenzo - and explore the world through the lens of their perspective:

The road I walk everyday,
It's no game, I try to make my way.
People see what they want to see.
That's not me.
Take a look, take a look,
I might surprise you.

The song's catchy hook set-up each young man's personal lyric, which was fed through individual audio headphones. The projected videos highlighted footage from the design process, melding their different perspectives and stories into the broader message of the song.

Kevin, Marlon and Lorenzo were inspired by the interactive display and treated exhibit goers to a live performance at the Caminemos Juntos show. Since the show, they have continued to perform the song in other venues.

Caminemos Juntos - Let's Walk Together! from Morgan Marzec on Vimeo.