Another piece to the puzzle
We share so much more than we think. Milton Raposo is so certain of this, he aims to capture it on video.
Inspired by a Danish commercial that addressed a similar theme, he’s looking for roughly 50 people for Saturday’s shoot at the Ruth Seaton James Centre for the Performing Arts between noon and 3pm.
There’s no speaking required. Participants will be asked around 20 questions; a step forward means yes. At the end, people will cluster together according to their responses. The hope is that exposing our commonalities will bring the community closer together.
“This is not about entitlement or naming and shaming or white versus black,” said Mr Raposo, whose company Method Media has partnered with The Bermuda National Gallery and the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs on the project.
“There’s no confrontation. It’s certainly light-hearted and its certainly truth revealing.”
Who has a girlfriend? Who has a boyfriend? Who was a class clown? Who is Bermudian? These are examples of what might be asked.
“Over time, the questions are going to get a little bit more serious and potentially personal,” he said. “Who was a bully and who was bullied? Who here has survived cancer?”
The three-minute video will be released next month. The collaboration came after BNG curator Sophie Cressall settled on this year’s Biennial title, What We Share, a suggestion from Sajni Tolaram, a professor at the Bermuda College.
Carlita Lodge of Community and Cultural Affairs loved it so much the department adopted it for Heritage Month. Mr Raposo hopes the visual results will connect people.
“This is not about embarrassing anybody,” he said. “We’re going to show that we share in more than we think we do. The CEO of reinsurance X Y and Z probably has a similar story to somebody who works at the Belco job site. Even though they may end up somewhere else, they travel the same road.”
According to Ms Cressall, it’s too often that we define ourselves by our differences.
“Our strength is in the community,” she said. “It is not right to criticise others. You have to have empathy and kindness and tolerance. If there was ever a moment for it, now is it.
“This is exactly what the community needs. We need people from all walks of life to come forward, to be brave and say, ‘This is who I am’.
“This is a moment to celebrate our differences not to argy-bargy and put stickers on the back of your car that say Yes or No. It is about coming together.
“Whilst I’m different to you, whilst I don’t necessarily agree with you, your lifestyle or your choices, it is all of those differences that make us dynamic and strong.”
The group has had a good response from people wanting to get involved, but is looking for more men to even out the demographic.
“I have my own set of biases, but I’d like to think that we’re going to demonstrate these links and connections,” Mr Raposo said. “In this day and age we plant a flag immediately of who we are and separate ourselves from other people instantly in the name of progress.”
Ms Cressall hopes the video will encourage tolerance.
“People applaud us for being such a polite society and yet our tolerance of each other is becoming more and more harsh,” she said.
“This is a moment where we can put a full stop or a comma and say, can we have a look at this? Can we really challenge ourselves and say, as a country, in order for us to be strong we have to respect each other, respect each other’s decisions and lifestyles and come together.
“We are a tolerant nation — I believe we are. This is happening globally. As a very small country we have the ability to lead the way. Art has the potential to make an impact.”
Mr Raposo hopes the video will add to the existing dialogue geared to building a better society. “I’ve noticed all kinds of conversations happening, whether it be on race, poverty, or business. This is another piece to it,” he said.
Added Ms Cressall: “The questions asked will challenge your preconceptions and your prejudices positively. If you are interested in bringing people together, if you are interested in bringing our country together, please participate.”
If you are interested in joining, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.