I’m sorry that it has been a couple of days since my last update, and I am sorry that this update is going to be rushed and photo-less.
I don’t have a lot of time because we are all about to go shoot the Argentina v.s. Mexico game, and it’ going to be crazy. It’s also drizzling out, which will make things a little more difficult… but it should be fun.
Anyway, I will be updating again tonight, and hopefully with pictures. Ceci and I have been really busy lately (busy but not taking photos yet), and we haven’t had internet in our apartment for a few days now. All of this makes it difficult to update my attempt at a photo blog– but don’t give up on me! More to come. I promise.
Things are going well with our story. There was a one day when I was a little concerned that it wasn’t going to work out… after the initial interviews with the two women (Maria y Marta), Ceci worked hard at transcribing and translating the interviews (read: she is a rock star), and then we called Maria to see if we could arrange a day to follow her around and get some photos and footage of her day-to-day life. It was then that we realized that the women most likely thought that the interviews were all that we needed, and Maria’s schedule is crazy busy. To make it even harder, she didn’t want us to get photos of A) her at work and B) her children. Yes. Awesome story but limited access = heartbreaking. I was kind of upset that day… Ceci didn’t think that we would be able to get either of the women to let us go to their homes this weekend, and the clock is ticking (read: a majority of the coaches here keep us in a constant state of stress/feeling that we are behind).
So, Ceci and I talked about it with Chris (coach), and we all agreed that we needed to focus on gaining the trust of Maria and Marta and ensuring that they understand what this project is and how their stories will fit into it. Ceci called the Maria back, and got her to fit us into her crazy-busy schedule for coffee the next day.
It was a great success! We met her at a cafe, no cameras, no equipment– just three women chatting about her kids, men, school, etc. It was really nice. Then Ceci brought up the project, asking if Maria had any questions about the project, and she asked us to explain it in a little more detail. Ceci told her about the overall goal, and then went in to what her and Marta’s story meant to the project. She explained that it will be a documentary style project in which Maria and Marta’s voices will be narrating the story, because we want them to tell their story, not us.
Maria took this all very well, but then started telling us that she would be glad to help us, but basically she wasn’t sure that her story was what we thought it was. She explained that while she will always love Gaston (deceased husband), she had moved on because she had to; for her kids and for herself. She has been with another man for six years now– she is not a holed-up widow in a constant state of mourning.
Ceci and I immediately let her know that we didn’t want to put her in a little box and present her as the grieving widow if that is not her story. We want to tell her story, as it is. I explained that I see her and Marta’s growth since their husband’s death as a small example for the rest of the country. These women experienced something so tragic and unexplainable, and yet they have chosen to move on and live their lives. The country has gone through pain and suffering, but must pick itself up and move on, as it slowly seems to be doing.
Long story short, she responded well to this, and hugged us and told us that she would be happy to work with us. Access to her daily life is still unclear, but it’s looking better.
So, Ceci and I decided to set up a coffee date with Marta to have a similar conversation. It went even better because, as it turns out, while Maria was always pretty open to working with us, Marta was a little unsure of what we wanted and whether or not she wanted to be apart of it. BUT, apparently, when we called Marta for coffee, she called Maria to see what we wanted… and Maria told her to meet with us because we were good people and that we were doing a good thing.
I thought I was going to cry when I heard this. These women have amazing stories to tell, but it is such a sensitive subject that to tell it, they need to trust us. And it is looking like we have gained that trust. Marta talked with us for a long time, and invited us to her house on Monday because she goes to visit Alberto’s grave every Monday. She said that it would be fine for me to bring my camera.
I have to go, but I will sum this post up by saying that, even if I don’t produce this project well, even if Pat (professor) hates my work and tells me I have failed… I have learned so much about gaining the trust of the people I am working with– making sure they know that I see them as people and that I think their lives and stories are worth telling.
Hasta luego, chau chau!