November 3, 2016
So this is another post not about a painting. A few months ago I just wanted to really apply myself to another medium. I’ve always been attracted to story telling. My father used to spend hours with his grandchildren sharing stories that he had honed to spellbinding bedtime fare.
Later, during my career at Boeing, I was charged with designing and managing leadership development programs for the IT department. Recognizing that leadership is essentially a social practice, I engaged a story telling coach, Michale Gabriel, to enable my participants to connect their work to their deeply-held values. Then communicate in story form so that the people they lead can see that the leader has a genuine investment in the outcomes they are working towards.
Video is a great way to tell stories. Being new to Mexico, there is no limit on the new and interesting artisans I could meet. I met Samuel Bautista during my first visit to Oaxaca. The second time I went to his farm, he told me he had earned a PhD from England in sustainable industry. How did an indigenous kid from a village in an educationally underperforming state in Mexico make it to a doctoral program in Europe? And why is he back on the farm? Wanting more of the story, and knowing his english is very good, I approached him in a booth he had in the city for the Guelaguetza about the project. He was very happy to do it.
So during my last visit to the states I picked up a bunch of gear to support video production – camera, lights, gels, microphones, laptop and software, and tripod. Rocío and I spent an afternoon recording Samuel’s story which drove the choices for shooting. Then we returned to the farm in October with visiting friends David Ruggiero and Emily Ross for three days of recording. The Bautista’s have two rooms for let in Air BnB. Rocío and I took the room next to the chicken roost. Apparently the roosters there crow during all hours of the night when it gets colder. After two nights there I was a sleep-deprived zombie, barely able to think through the remaining tasks, so I missed a couple of shots.
I’ll continue to paint and photograph as well as shoot video, but right now the story telling is calling to me. If you want to see more of these and/or if you know of a compelling story here in Oaxaca, please leave a comment.