Telling a Story Through Images

Place is very complex and dynamic. It is always changing because the essence of place has a lot to do with our relationship to that place. Even if two people are from the same place, their collection of objects or memories will tell a different story about their experience with that place. In reflecting on my own sense of place, I found myself gravitating towards experiences I could have had anywhere in the world as well as unique characteristics of my home town. As I have moved away from home, I have used many of the elements of “where I’m from,” such as campfire or gardening as a source of comfort in times of homesickness. My sense of place in my home town has also changed with time, since I have mostly memories instead of current experiences in that place. My presentation below represents my childhood experiences of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, though most of my words and images represent the relational and experiential sense of place, instead of the geographical or physical.

Where I’m From – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Between experiences, memories, and concrete items, it can be very difficult to describe what “home” or “place” means to any one individual or group of people. I found it incredibly hard to find phrases to represent my relationship with place, so I found the visual elements of Haiku Deck to be very helpful as I tried to convey the meaning of my poem. For some categories or phrases, I wished there were more image options, and some images lent themselves to needing smaller texts due to the limited text placement options. However, I think the simplicity of the tool is very accessible to students in a classroom, so that not so much time is spent learning the technology, but more time can be focused on developing the content. The limited templates force students to use few words on each slide, which is a great skill for developing conciseness and word choice. There is also great value in choosing images with purpose, as they add meaning to words in different ways. For example, I chose a picture of a parent with a child at the piano for “I am from musicians” because my dad would sit at the piano with me as I learned. I would use this tool with my students as a presentation aid or review tool for students to create meaning using short phrases, buzz words, and images. I may even have my students explore place and identity with this tool!

4 thoughts on “Telling a Story Through Images”

  1. I enjoyed your post especially the food slides maybe because it looks tasty and inviting or adds detail and insight to your daily life or maybe I am just still hungry. Your many references music is also insightful, but with this particular media we don’t get to hear the music. I am looking to hear the music

  2. Thanks for sharing! I love playing the piano as well. I’ve been to Minnesota back in 2007 for 21 days and it is one of the most amazing times of my life. I’d go there again in a heart beat to go to the Mississippi River and drive by the fields.

  3. I am from campfires and homemade pizza too! I agree, it’s hard to define home or place. I appreciate that you mention the same place can hold different memories or associations for different people. It reminds me of our discussions in class about history and context.

  4. I once saw the Mississippi River, but from New Orleans. I haven’t been to MN. I’m honestly impressed at your sense of adventure in world travels. I’ve traveled to six other countries, but I didn’t go to Europe until I was 30, and I haven’t been out of the country since 2003, following a 2-week trip to New Zealand. My passport has since expired, and I don’t know when or if the opportunity will present itself to apply for another one. I once spent a winter in the Southern California desert, and all the while I dreamt of Alaska. In fact, it was during that time that I envisioned myself living in Juneau (I’m from Ketchikan). I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. That is, Southeast Alaska. My grandmother was a gardener, and I miss the house where I grew up. My identity is very much tied up in place. I would ache if I wasn’t here. If I was younger, maybe I could see myself doing more traveling, experiencing different cultures, but for now at least, everything about Southeast Alaska is everything about me.

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