Find words that have been written or spoken by someone else. You can gather these words from a variety of means – interviews, journals, archives, eavesdropping. Your subject may be a friend, stranger, alive or dead. Select your five favourite examples and create five images that do justice to the essence of those words.
You may choose to present your images with or without the original words. Either way, make sure that the images are working hard to tell a story. If you decide to include the words, ensure that they add to the meaning rather than describing the image or shutting it down. Try to keep your image-and-text combinations consistent – perhaps they are all overheard conversations on a bus or all come from an old newspaper report. Keep them part of a story.
Consider different ways of presenting the words. Audio or video might lend itself well to this kind of work, or a projection of images using voice-over. Experiment.
On 2012, I worked on assignment 5 for the old course The Art of Photography (TAOP), it was about applying the techniques we learnt in illustration and narrative. We were asked to present the work as a cover on a magazine.
For that assignment I was inspired by a song of the famous Lebanese singer (Fairouz). Her song is called (Shadi). Shadi is a name of a boy. It is a song about a boy and a girl who used to play together until death separated them because of the war. The last lyric in the song says: “I grew up and Shadi remained the boy I knew, playing in the snow”. Of course the song is in Arabic but the translated lyrics can be found here. The story I worked on was inspired by this last sentence but it was about twin girls where one of them had cancer.
Below is my work for that assignment:
The song with lyrics is in the video below
Fayrouz – Chadi – unforgettable Arabic song (Eng Subtitle)