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Taking It Home, Workshop 6: Claiming A Point Of View

In "Families," a Tapestry of Faith program

Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with the absolute truth.

- Simone de Beauvoir


We talked about points of view and how that translates into photographing families. We identified places in our meetinghouse that feel special to us. We also had a photo-documentary project check-in, which is when we can bring up questions, concerns, and any obstacles we have encountered.


Ask family members if they can recall a time when their point of view of an experience varied widely from someone else's. What do they think caused the variance?


PBS has a film project called Point of View (P.O.V.). Its mission is to give voice to people, passions, and perspectives. Go to the website to see what interesting short web films are there. Check out the TV listings and local listing of viewings of the P.O.V. films. Invite your family to watch the web ones or sit down together and watch one of the TV broadcasts. They are powerful films about challenging topics. Scaredy Cat, for instance, is a fifteen-minute web short that was written and directed by a man who was beaten up on the street. What elements of his experience changed his point of view? What details in the film changed yours?


Telling a story from a different point of view is a fairly common technique in the arts. The next time you are watching a movie think about the point of view. What if it were written from the perspective of the leading man or the dog?

On your next trip to the library, see how many versions of The Three Little Pigs there are. Are any told from the wolf's point of view? Or look up anything by James Finn Garner, who writes "politically correct" stories. What perspective does he write from? Share some stories with your family and see what they think.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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