Tuesday, May 15, 2007




Oral Traditions in Walnut Way, by Cheryl Ajirotutu

From Walnut Street to No Street, by Vick William Albert



Artist Statement

The first thing I had to do was come up with a topic to discuss. This proved to be more difficult than I thought originally. I wanted to do a look into law enforcement, but I could not find anything useful nor was I able to get any interview time with a police officer. So I had to scratch this idea. During this process, I had gathered enough information that I could derive a topic out of it. I would call it “Community Dynamics”. Basically, it would be the look into how the community works and essentially how any community works, large or small.
One of the first things I did was go to the youth group meeting. The kids there were doing activities and learning more about one another. I brought a camera so I took pictures. I tried to frame them in such a way that it would seem like I wasn’t even there. The Heisenberg Uncertainty principle states if one observes phenomena, they affect the phenomena simply by observing it. I took this into consideration, since it applies to people, and tried to be as invisible as possible while behind the camera.
I framed them in the picture with diagonals, horizontals and verticals created by the composition, such as tables and cracker boxes. One cannot just take a picture of something and expect it to be interesting. One must take it from an interesting angle in order to capture the essence of the moment.
The next event I participated in was the annual meeting at Walnut Way. This is set up to work on bettering the community. I simply took notes. I wanted to use this meeting more as an informational source rather than a photographic one. I would have liked to video tape it, but we hadn’t yet been introduced to the video cameras yet. So I had to make due, and it seemed most appropriate to just listen and write.
What was said at the meeting gave me the idea to look into law enforcement in the area, but as I mentioned before, it was very difficult. I did a lot of searching in the schools library and on the internet. The internet seemed to be my best bet. From all this research I decided it would be better to change gears and focus on what I have; a potential analysis on how communities work based on the workings of Walnut Way and the proponents of it.
Next, I went to the birthday of Mrs. Green at Walnut Way. I used this opportunity to gather video footage. I used a regular digital video camera and a separate microphone to eliminate buzzing. I used the little screen on the side to aim my shot instead of the eyepiece, because it is easier. I took my shots from an angle on a table top. This way it would look like you are a person sitting at the table, which would put the viewer into the conversations being had.
Phoua and her partner were there also video taping the get together. We helped one another focus and calibrate our cameras. I let them use my microphone at one point, because theirs wouldn’t work. We decided to share our video footage if necessary.
Once I attained all the video I needed, I then edited it to get the desired parts. I picked parts that are relevant to the development and life of the community, which would be parts about past gatherings, current events, and how safe people feel in the Walnut Way community.
Overall, I gathered enough to get a grasp on how the community works. I wish there were more time so that I could learn more and develop on my theories further, but I will have to settle, for now, knowing what I know and drawing my conclusions from it.

Neighborhood Lift Up Flyer

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mrs. Green

It was Mrs. Green's birthday, so the members of Walnut Way got together to celebrate. Some interesting topics are discussed such as racism, current events and personal histories.

Youth Group

Marta and I went to the youth group's meeting at Walnut Way House. The kids there are all from the neighborhood. They were making collages about themselves and things they like. These are the slideshows of the pictures from that day.