“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” Novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
As Adichie suggests, the deepest experience of understanding and connection is only possible in a collective move away from single story narrative toward overlapping and new stories.
This is precisely what From the Edge of Understanding, a group installation showcasing a movie created by Steven Oliver with character narratives written by Feven Haile, and 100 mixed media images by Melissa Newell, hoped to achieve. During monthly collaborative discussions over the past year, the three explored the creative process as a way of learning about themselves, their art, and others. These artists explore what it means to be a human interacting with other humans. At the core of this exploration was the desire to look beyond surface, image and media, avoiding oppressive images and distancing narratives in order to find pathways to empathetic connection.
The artists would like to acknowledge and thank their colleagues, family and friends for their support, especially Pamela and Steven Oliver Jr. for giving up precious family time so this project could be accomplished. A special thank you to Amadi Yelima N'gom, Cena Contehi, Kelly Singleterry, Jaqueline Gonzalez, Niyat Haile, Alisa Chanelle Dickinson, Kenyada Freeman and Paul Newell for providing their voices. Finally we wish to acknowledge Dan Dootson, the Director Visual Media Services and his staff for their ongoing support in making all Arts, Culture and Civic Engagement Events produces at Edmonds Community College available for viewing.