We have spilt into the aspect of our project that requires much more individual work and therefore have each written individual reflections about our own experiences with interviewing.
This week I returned to the Downtown Palo Alto Farmers’ Market to address the mistakes I made in my first trip to the market on which I reflected in our reflection two weeks ago (I did not take enough photos for the slideshow, collect ambient audio, or ask to re-record the beginning of Ben's interview in which he begins with “It has . . .” rather than “Climate change has . . .”). I returned with the intention of filling these potholes in Ben's interview so that his story would be more feasible as a final deliverable. I succeeded on all fronts, and I was even able to distribute honorarium packets to both Ben and Lisa, both of whom I interviewed during my last visit to the market. They were very thankful and glad about the honorarium, and I think I can confidently say that providing them with compensation enforced the legitimacy of the project in their minds and strengthened the bond between them and the Community Voices exhibit at The Tech. So far I think the honorarium pilot project has and will continue to work in favor of both The Tech and community members. I am glad we piloted honoraria, as I think honorarium and information packets on the whole will continue to establish the ethos of the project and build trust between community members and The Tech.
Regarding asking Ben to repeat his opening statement, doing so was a lot easier than I had thought. Fear and worry of taking up too much of his time prevented me from doing so the first time around, but I overcame these emotions this time by reflecting on the significance of the project as a whole and by remembering how kind he had been the first time I spoke with him. He turned out to be very willing to help for a second time. The honorarium I gave him also aided me in the process of overcoming my worry of taking up his time during his working hours with little to no benefit to him.
To provide an update on my audio editing progress, Danny and I both agreed that Lisa's interview would not be feasible as a final deliverable, as she jumps around and speaks fast in the interview, and the story does not have a consistent or very identifiable storyline. I also spoke with Danny about switching my focus from fisheries, the focus I had assigned myself to in the Project Scope of Work, to farmers in the Bay Area. He formally approved of the switch, saying that the project is critically lacking in stories from both fisheries and farmers, so focusing on either would be great. Now that I have refined the materials for Ben's interview, I will focus on editing his story with the re-recorded hook (“Climate change has . . ” rather than “It has extended our growing season.”) and ambient noise I recorded this week, and continue editing the Raging Grannies audio clip from Danny’s unedited audio stories from a Climate Strike he attended. I will have these two stories of the deliverables completed by the end of Thanksgiving Break, which is truly something to celebrate! As for the final deliverable packet and presentation, we will begin to work on them over the break, especially in the first half of the break. We aim to complete solid rough drafts of each by the end of the break. Attending office hours made me feel much better about the two, as I now have a better idea of what is required of us for each. I shared the example of last year’s Community Voices presentation to the rest of the group, and we decided to ruminate on it over the break as well, keeping it in mind throughout the process of creating our presentation. Overall, I am excited for what we will accomplish over the break.
I think this was a really exciting week for our group as it's when a lot of things all finally came together. After plenty of discussion with Danny we finally decided on a method for compensation and put together compensation envelopes containing VISA gift cards and free tickets to The Tech. I think this is a really exciting development as it's something the The Tech will continue to use in the future even after our group with our quarter-long collaboration. In addition, we also finally got access to the audio software we were hoping to use, Adobe Audition, and will now be able to make some high quality audio edits.
Personally, I'm really excited about the progress we made this week as I was able to conduct my in-person interview on Thursday. It was with Salvador Mateo, assistant director at Planting Justice in Oakland. Planting Justice is a non-profit organization with the motto "Grow Food, Grow Jobs and Grow Community." They operate a community farm and nursery business right in the heart of Oakland and focus particularly on helping formerly incarcerated community members with their rehabilitation and reintroduction processes. Ayoade kindly was able to travel to their nursery site in Oakland with me and we were able to get a 17 minute interview from Salvador. I'm personally really excited about editing this interview as I think that in addition to a pertinent story about climate change it also includes some really important insights about environmental justice and environmental racism that are currently lacking from the collection of stories that have already been collected for this project. I plan on editing the audio file over Thanksgiving break and having it deliverable-ready by the time we return for Week 10. I also plan on editing one of the interviews that Danny recorded at the climate strike over Thanksgiving break. Overall, I'm feeling good about our progress on this project and am excited about being able to share the deliverables and contributions we've made with The Tech and also the rest of our class!
While I reached out to two leads who seemed eager at first to be interviewed, scheduling has proved difficult and they have been unresponsive lately. So, I altered course and am now planning to interview Matt who works on Burning Man's sustainability initiatives. The challenge is that Matt is only free starting the week of Thanksgiving, but I will be home during that week. So, I have to wait to interview him until the week after Thanksgiving, which will be possible just very tight with timing. My plan is to have the other two audio clips edited before then, so that I can focus on Matt's interview afterward.
I am excited to pull our project together. I enjoyed the Environmental Justice talk this past week, as it highlighted and put into practice many of the concepts we have talked about in class. I look forward to maintaining a good code of ethics during the remainder of our project.
Things have been building up to our final deliverables this week - it seems that collectively we have been hearing back from leads we were trying hard to get ahold of, and carrying out meaningful interviews. In tagging along with Natalie for the Planting Justice interview with Salvador, I was glad to see that our compensation and information packet set-up feels like it works very nicely and also feels like adequate thanks.
In reflecting on the interview, I’m very glad that the exhibit will hopefully include this narrative emphasizing food justice, housing justice, and their connections to disproportionate impacts on low income communities of color by climate change in its broader climate change narratives.
In terms of work in the near future, after a bit of back and forth I’ve been able to schedule an interview with Loa Niumeitolu, who works with the Sogorea Te land trust, and women-lead indigenous land trust focused on land sovereignty and reparations in the Bay Area. I am very much looking forward to completing editing work over the break and doing the same for Loa’s interview by the time we come back to school!
Alisha plans to include their contributions to this reflection in the comment section of this discussion post.