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What I Carried: Feet In Two Worlds and Cowbird Media Workshop

In November 2013, Feet In Two Worlds conducted an intensive weekend workshop in audio production, photography, and online storytelling. The sessions focused on telling provocative and emotional multi-media stories about immigrants using the Cowbird website as a platform.

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  1. The focus of our project with Cowbird was onimmigrants and personal objects. Workshop attendees would create Cowbird posts that involve immigrants telling storiesabout an object they brought with them from their home country - afamily bible, a piece of jewelry, a blanket, an item of clothing.Such personal talismans are powerful symbols of culture, familyhistory, or the journey to a better life in the US. The workshop stories would seek out the meanings of these objects through interviews,photography, audio and text, which would then be presented on theCowbird website.
  2. We invited journalists from ethnic and community media to participate and learn new skills that can be used with Cowbird as well as to enhance any media organization’s online and social media presence.
  3. The first evening of the workshop involved introductions to Feet In Two Worlds, Cowbird, personal and professional background on the participants, as well as conversation about editorial goals for the project. The time included an activity based on the concept of "mestizaje" - "mixture" in Spanish - in which we mapped the blended cultural origins and patterns of migration of all of our families.
  4. On the second day, the workshop included tips on gathering sound and effective interviewing practices, as well as basic techniques for better photography.
  5. That's @marcovgl taming wild kitties during the photo prezi at our @Fi2W wkshp #thingsicarried
    That's @marcovgl taming wild kitties during the photo prezi at our @Fi2W wkshp #thingsicarried
  6. Afterwards, workshop attendees interviewed each other about their own personal possessions and the immigration stories they represent. They took photographs of the objects and prepared to write complementary text for the audio and photos.
  7. Annie Correal of Cowbird visited in the afternoon to explain Cowbird's storytelling mission and how the website works.
  8. The day session ended with an introduction to basic sound editing with Audacity.
  9. In the evening and the morning of the next day, the workshop reporters gathered more interviews and photographs about migration and personal objects.
  10. Ayinde Jean-Baptiste of HaitianTimes.com interviews Paul Beaubrun about what he carried.
    Ayinde Jean-Baptiste of HaitianTimes.com interviews Paul Beaubrun about what he carried.
  11. fi2w_Reporter Miranda Shafer interviewed Adam Klein about one of the milkshake machines that was in his grandparent’s luncheonette.cowbird-5
    fi2w_Reporter Miranda Shafer interviewed Adam Klein about one of the milkshake machines that was in his grandparent’s luncheonette.cowbird-5
  12. Sunday was devoted to information about editing photographs, then editing the audio interviews as well as writing the accompanying text.
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