Sometimes words can work magic, but it is an image that cuts through our conscious chatter and lands directly in our heart. In the genius book by Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, she goes through each of the senses–the membranes between our exterior and interior worlds. Visual storytelling can be as simple as peek-a-boo (i’m here, now i’m not) or as complicated as the most recent splashy, animated blockbuster film. As the world grows more complex and we can enter new, unreal spaces (did anyone see Avatar in 3D and not see a dose of the future?) yet somehow the stories remain the same. This is where I live. This is my journey. This is an object that I believe infuses me with power.
So I went looking for some visual storytelling mediums, and here is a truncated round-up of the ways we use our bodies and materials as a tablet, as a place to define ownership, and to show off our point of view. This is simply meant for visual inspiration, and to broaden the concept of how we can communicate our stories- tattoos, textiles, scrapbooks, scars, and murals are just a few examples. How do you tell your story when the emphasis is not on words?
Email me yours at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2,500 year old Woman’s tattoos found in the Altai Mountains (a border region close to frontiers of Russia with Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan).
Read more at the Siberian Times article.
Olive Oatman was taken in by the Mojave tribe after her family was killed. The Mojave tattooed her chin to ensure her passage into the afterlife.
The fantastic photo blog, Humans Of New York, asks people on the street what they want to talk about and often the responses are incredible. This gentleman tells the story behind his one tattoo.
Artist, Faith Ringgold known for combining fabric, painting and storytelling. via Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Books/ Fabric Art
Pharonic murals 2k BC- 3K BC in Egypt usually dealing with the afterlife.
Stories of homeless children depicted on murals in London, via Huffington Post.
On the Body
See my post on Revisiting Personal Mapping
Another entry on how to try Personal Mapping
Below, a quick Personal Maps Writing Prompt, and a student example of a personal map: