Visions of the city, Part 2: Investigating Where We Live

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Investigating Where We Live: DC Now and Next (IWWL):
It would be hard to find more contrast between two exhibits than between yesterday’s “The Architectural Image” and the subject of today’s reflection, Investigating Where We Live.  A well conceived and beautifully executed project, IWWL asked thirty teens from around DC to explore set sections of our city using their smartphones/social media to photograph, share, and ask others about what they think characterizes Washington today, and what might define the city in the future.  The results were an optimistic, energetic assessment that I can only describe as “contagious.”

Whereas yesterday’s exhibit was all about the buildings, the creations, students in the IWWL program were much more focused on the dynamic realities of their city: it’s living breathing people, the services that aide those people, the cultures that express their personalities.  Words that keep popping up include: culture, diversity, politics, neighborhoods, history, crowding.  If the youth involved in this project are any indication, we can reasonably ask if a shift has occurred from a 20th century focus on technology, efficiency and structures, to a 21st century focus on persons, and their well-being.

Results of interviews by the IWWL students
Results of interviews by the IWWL students

Photography at the exhibit was encouraged… so I’ll let the students speak for themselves.  Below are a series of photos by the exhibit students, as well as some of their reflections that struck me as most profound.

"Rights for All" Photo by Kennedy Jackson, age 12
“Rights for All” Photo by Kennedy Jackson, age 12

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