“Today the ferment of his striving towards self-realization is to the strife of the white world like a wheel within a wheel….
Few know of these problems, few who know notice them; and yet there they are; awaiting students, artists, and seer- a field for somebody to discover”
W.E.B Du Bois
The Souls of Black Folks
The Question Bridge project emerged when, in 1996 I was commissioned by the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego to produce a video piece dealing in some way with race as part of a multi-media exhibition entitled Re:Public curated by Richard Bolton.
The result was a very rough experimental project that tried to show how different familiar concepts like “race” look from within a racial group when compared to the view from without.
I think of Question Bridge as essentially a process based upon a few basic principles:
– First, consider the significant divisions that exist within a clearly defined group;
-Next, create a setting where both sides feel safe to express sincere questions they have for the other, and then, in a similar way, give the other side an opportunity to express relevant answers to those questions.
-Finally, assemble these questions and answers into a form that both can witness, as if it were in some way a “conversation”.
One guiding principle is that quite a lot is revealed when you are asked to pose what for you is a meaningful question. Among other things, a question reveals what you don’t know, what you are willing to discover and also assumptions that may or may not be self-evident.