"The thing is, our culture has started to think about writing and the humanities as if they are peripheral and negotiable – just a dusty sideshow set up alongside the real project, which is making money. But the only way people move toward freedom is to come to some understanding of what is enslaving them, and that, in essence, is what the humanities are: a controlled, generations-long effort to understand and defeat what enslaves us. So we marginalize that process at our own peril. That process is (and has always been) important to cultures."
–GEORGE SAUNDERS, interviewed for The Creative Process
Our Other Voices section gives students, professors, and the general public an opportunity to tell their stories and engage with leading thinkers. This collective artwork features curriculum integration and short films we have made in collaboration with writers and film schools, essays, stories, poems, and other creative works. Other Voices is being shown as part of the projection elements of the traveling exhibition.
I have been trying over the past twenty years to balance the serious and disturbing information I absorb at my job about human suffering, the earth's failing environment, and the atrocities of unnecessary wars, in a way that allows me to also, sometimes, feel joy.
I think what is going on now is we are being forced to recognize that this paradigmatic Western civilization, what we are part of, that we have been indoctrinated with, has fundamental flaws. And the most fundamental flaw is this automatic assumption that everything coming from the West always came from the West, had no other origins, whereas it’s almost the opposite.
The English way of saying, well, you meet a new person and what was he like? "What was he like?" is a very strange thing to say. It's saying: don't tell me how he was. Tell me what he resembles. Isn't that weird? It says: tell me a story.
PURE IMAGINATION PROGRAM for YOUNG WRITERS
OUR VOICES, OUR STORIES, OUR LIVES
"IMAGINATION is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore,
the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity,
it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared." –J.K. ROWLING