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The Art of Storytelling with a Question and a Camera

November 12, 2021
1–4 pm CST
Fox Friday workshop
Kuehner Court, Weil Hall

Washington University students, staff, and faculty are invited to join Humans of St. Louis (HOSTL) cofounder, WashU grad (MSW/MPH ’16), and documentary photographer Lindy Drew for a discussion of how the social media site evolved from an artistic side-project to a nonprofit with a team of 25 contributors. Lindy will share the intricate details of approaching and interviewing strangers on the streets of St. Louis, how collaborations with other companies have led to highlighting larger societal issues, and what crafting original and local content in the HOSTL style has meant for our city. She’ll talk about the art of storytelling in St. Louis and how social work, public health, and photography play crucial roles in HOSTL’s body of work. Finally, through examples of “photostories” shared online and in print, she’ll teach how to approach and invite people to tell their stories, how to ask better questions, and how to be a better listener.

Participants will better understand the importance of storytelling, especially through the “Humans of” movement. They’ll learn to ask open-ended questions and dig deeper in conversations with relevant follow-up questions. They’ll exercise their listening skills and learn how to garner trust from a natural sense of curiosity while getting to know other people quickly. They can use the work to better inform their own educational and professional trajectories. And they’ll produce a greater appreciation of the art of storytelling by practicing one-on-one or in small groups to experience what it’s like being the interviewer and then the interviewee.

This workshop is free, but registration is required. Register here >>

About the facilitator

After studying at the University of Arizona and the International Center of Photography, Lindy Drew traveled for three years in Latin America to share people’s stories in the spirit of documentary photography. Upon returning to the US, she worked with Casa de Sueños in Phoenix to help care for unaccompanied undocumented minors and reunify them with their families in the States. Lindy graduated in May 2016 from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis with a master’s degree in social work and public health. During her education, she cofounded Humans of St. Louis to have a creative break from classes while getting to know St. Louis better through meeting people on the street. By engaging strangers in insightful personal interviews, she and the HOSTL team produce visual stories that represent part of the larger community conversations and regional development taking place in St. Louis. Lindy produces new stories for HOSTL’s online presence, presents at institutions about the art of storytelling, and manages the creative team responsible for producing HOSTL’s forthcoming book.

Photo by Lindy Drew