There are a lot of reasons as to why I love my job, but one of my favorites is the ability to learn while I work. Toward the end of last year, I documented a couple of events for The Aspen Institute — and I learned a lot.
The Aspen Institute facilitated two-day events with students from Chicago, to have conversations about our history and to build solidarity. The events were a nice history refresher for me, but I particularly loved learning from the students, and learning from their stories and experiences.
While I work, I try to keep a number perspectives in my head — the literal interpretation, but also the figurative. As a photographer, I’m often in rooms with people I do not know, with backgrounds and experiences vastly different than my own. As I navigate new spaces and sensitive conversations, I’m able to expand my frame of reference — to make better images, but to, hopefully, be a better person.
I’m not eloquent enough, nor smart enough, to say anything new about the horrific internment of Japanese Americans during World War 2. If you’re unfamiliar with this aspect of American history, the Facing Freedoms exhibit at the Chicago History Museum is a wonderful resource for you. But I would like to call attention to the More Perfect podcast that has a story about Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American who sued the U.S. Government over the executive order that President Roosevelt issued.