Story Time with Triple Exposure

As we move into the last theme of our session students express themselves through story. Emerging out of exploring their individual identities into what they define as community, this week they expressed change through their stories. A story is a powerful thing, a necessary tool for successful photography. Author Isabel Allende asks us, "What is truer than the truth? ...answer: the story." With storytelling a certain truth comes out that is lost in the nonfictional books of facts. The story allows emotions to surface that emerge from our own lives. The story not only tells us how or what, but why. It explains the emotional thought behind certain actions as it gives color to our words. Photography does this with an image. The image can become more than the photographer intended as make meaning out of the image, it can translate across borders, across languages and cultures. That is the beauty of the story. We transitioned into story-telling verbally first, with an exercise that encouraged creative story-telling in front of the class. The audience gave a place, a person (subject) and a thing for our story-tellers to base off. Three story-tellers lined up in front of the class with their backs to the audience. One by one they turned to face the audience and tell a story .

This taught them structure and broke the story up into three sections, the beginning, middle and end. It also assesses and encourages their ability to present in front of the entire class, to entertain. Their newfound confidence in their own creativity was revealed as they had to put use it in front of the entire group. This is something that I hope will transcend beyond the classroom and into their own lives.

Stories ranged from a castle in Syria, to a hunter who killed too many animals, to a boy who could run as fast as a horse. These verbal stories emerged into images as they used the camera to tell the story with color. This time we introduced the idea of change, of a problem coming up and somehow being worked out by the students. As the plot thickens the student's stories emerge. Although they used butterflies, bunnies and clowns as characters, their stories are full of violence and struggle. This is what our students know, the stories that they hear and experience.


The Bee and the Butterfly, by Ahmad(12) and Salah(10).

There once was a Bee who liked flying in the garden. He was hungry trying to find flowers to eat but there were not many flowers left. The Butterflies were eating them all up.  Sure enough, the Butterfly came and wanted the flowers for himself. They began to fight.

 Until the Bee decided to try talk to the Butterfly. He told the Butterfly about how hungry he was. He told the Butterfly how many Bees were hungry. He made the Butterfly realize and sympathize with him. They decided to share the flowers and protect them so that they did not disappear.


             Soccer Stars, by Hamza(9) and Bakar(9).

Two friends wanted to play soccer, the clown and the bunny. So they went outside to the soccer field at TYO. But a lot of older boys were playing soccer on the field. They were scared to try and play since they were so little.

But Clown was very good at soccer, they called him Messi. So he went and began to play. Bunny watched but was sad that he could not play. Messi was struggling to play surrounded by so many bigger guys, he needed help.

So Bunny came to the rescue and they passed and scored a goal! The big guys always allowed them to play whenever they wanted from then on.

   The Butterflies and Clowns, by Taha(9) and Yazan(10).

One day Butterfly flew high up into the sky. It was dangerous to do this because then the Clowns could see him. The Clowns were killing the Butterflies and had been doing so for a long time.  Sure enough, the clown came and saw the Butterfly. He began to attack the Butterfly.

They could not talk to each other because they spoke different languages. But the Butterfly decided that he would try anyways. Somehow the Clown understood and he stopped. The Butterfly told the Clown how many Butterflies were dying and that they would become extinct soon. The Clown understood, he decided to tell his other friends to stop. So, today there are still Butterflies in the world.

The End.

All photographs and stories by Triple Exposure Students from Khallet al-Amood, Nablus.

-Abi is the Triple Exposure Coordinator