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Huzaifah Malik Capstone

​Abstract

Have you ever tried searching Google for images of Pakistan? You will be flooded by a collection of frightening pictures of kids holding guns, violence, discrimination, corruption and vice versa. You will hardly find any pictures that depict the progressive and modern aspects of the country. Since the beginning of this school year, I have been interviewing Pakistanis and photographing them. I started off with a small blog where alongside their portraits, I started including quotes and short stories from their lives. Since the global perception of Pakistan is ruined, I got inspired by Brandon Stanton, the founder of New York and tried tell different types of stories. I wanted to create and share the information with world that the country and its residents have been wrongly stereotyped by the media. People are amused when I claim that the country has much to offer, but the things that the country has, is overshadowed by incompetent, inefficient and dishonest governments. 

The process of completing the project was interesting and not boring whatsoever. I started gathering pictures that I took during the last time when I went to Pakistan. However, due to some family issues, I went to Pakistan in February again and that really opened the doors for me and I got a better opportunity to actually engage and interview random people on the streets in Pakistan. Within two weeks, I had an overwhelming amount of stories and pictures. I ended up making a website that has stories and different series. Each one of them is filled with lots of wisdom and lessons, so don't forget to check it out!


Bibliography:

Cervone, Barbara, Ed. D., ed. Crisis and Hope - Youth Turn A Lens On The World. Providence: Next Generation, 2010. Print.

This book offers an extraordinary compilation of diverse images accompanied by artist statements that depict crisis and danger as well as hope and opportunity. The book is divided into five sections and every section contain compelling pictures and captions. When I first skimmed through this book, my instant reaction was to read it all over again, because this was something that I had been looking for. My capstone project is similar to this book to a great extent as it contains the actual pictures and captions/quotes. This source entirely applies to me mainly because of the topic and the ideas. It can further help and guide me towards my main goal.  


Fowler, Geoffrey. "It's Time to Record Our Grandparents' History." WSJ. N.p., 17 Nov. 2015. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <http://www.wsj.com/articles/its-time-to-record-our-grandparents-history-1447785086>.

This article is about an app called "StoryCorps". The author suggests an idea by using tech to get people to do an old-fashioned thing, talk to each other. StoryCorps is another version of Humans of New York, but they preserve and share humanity's stories through a different medium. Their goal is to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. It's about strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone's story matters. They claim that it's an archive for future generations. I was surprised when I found this website because I did not know that there are organizations out there who do the same thing that I'm trying to accomplish through this Capstone project.

Koki, Stan. "Storytelling: The Heart and Soul of Education." Prel Briefing Paper. Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, 1 Nov. 1998. Web. 4 Feb. 2016. <http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.477.1777&rep=rep1&type=pdf>.

This paper presents a research on the importance of storytelling in human experience, and explores the relevance of storytelling in our daily lifestyle. It provides a brief history and evolution of storytelling mentioning that it is as old as mankind, because it goes through our entire life. The author mentions that the stories we tell help define our socio-cultural landscape in particular ways and demonstrate connections between language, culture, and power. Furthermore, this source provides a complete guideline on how to tell a compelling story. I think this paper is important, because my capstone is all about me being a storyteller. I will refer back to this source throughout the entire process of completing the project.


Spaulding, Amy E. The Wisdom of Storytelling In An Information Age: A Collaction of Talks. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2004. Print.

This book is a compilation of stories given by Spaulding. Her theme is based on how the information is valuable, but wisdom invaluable, and wisdom springs from story. Each story examines and illuminates this idea from a different perspective so there is little repetition. The author's topics include the importance of story in and of itself, how storytelling differs from reading, the ways stories hold us together as "social glue," and how they stimulate the imagination and eventually lead not just to the discovery of information but also to making meaning from it. I found this book really interesting because the way the author wrote it. It's a solid compilation of stories that matter. This source will assist me in my Capstone project because I will be asking similar questions to different people and try to see their perspective.


Terkel, Studs. Hard - An Oral History of the Great Depression. New York: Pantheon, 1970. Print.

In this book, the author relays oral histories of people who were exposed to the Depressions including farmers, politicians, industrialists, African Americans, and artists. The book shows the history through the eyes of the common and uncommon people. It is similar to many novels but different at the same time because it weaves many stories together into the same story, bringing many characters together in such a way that the reader starts engaging with the characters and their part in the story. This book has tailored my ideas in terms of guiding me on how to tell the engaging stories. The reason why I chose this book is, because I found it intriguing how the author told the tales of an average American of that era.


"Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York." The Institute of Politics at Harvard University. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <http://www.iop.harvard.edu/content/brandon-stanton-humans-new-york>.

This forum of Harvard University provides and interview of Brandon Stanton, the founder of Humans of New York (HONY). The interview starts of with him explaining about the things that his blog has been able to accomplish. He goes from his experience of being a photographer to being a journalists. He describes the technique he uses for interviewing people and quoting their sayings. One of the most thing that has inspired is how his ethics and concern for humans is inspiring as he says, "It's all about the work." This definitely applies to my project because my capstone is stemmed from the idea of storytelling and HONY.


"Humans of the World." Quartz. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <http://qz.com/501093/humans-of-the-world-this-stunning-new-film-will-change-how-you-see-yourself/>.

This article is about a movie called "Humans" by Yann Arthus Bertrand. It's a collection of stories about and images of our world, offering an immersion to the core of what it means to be human. The article claims that it is a film that matters. It has no plot, drama, storyline, action, and celebrities. It does not give us an answer to injustice, inequality, poverty, waste, war. It reminds us powerfully that there is a question here: If we care about one another as human beings, what do we do now? I think the whole movie is powerful because it reminds us of who were are and we see ourselves. It applies to my Capstone because I will be using telling the stories of different people from different parts of Pakistan.


"The Art of Storytelling, According to the Founders of StoryCorps and Humans of New York." Ideastedcom. N.p., 08 July 2015. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <http://ideas.ted.com/the-art-of-storytelling-according-to-the-founders-of-storycorps-and-humans-of-new-york/>.

This is an article where the founder of both StoryCorps and Humans of New York come together, and discuss the art of storytelling. The author starts off with their accomplishment of gathering stories from regular people around the world. Isay collects his stories as audio files, while Stanton takes a photo and then interviews his subject — but they've both developed fascinating techniques for helping people to open up. They talk about how a supportive culture breeds good and compelling stories. They also give an advice such as "engage deeply and interrupt kindly" My project is sort of stemmed from StoryCorps and HONY and I guess I will take their advices and apply to my project.


"What Storytelling Does to Our Brains." Buffer Social. N.p., 29 Nov. 2012. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <https://blog.bufferapp.com/science-of-storytelling-why-telling-a-story-is-the-most-powerful-way-to-activate-our-brains>.

This article is solely based on what listening to a story does to our brain. It's backed up by scientific facts such as our brains become more active when we tell stories. Our brain learn to ignore certain overused words and phrases that used to make stories awesome We think in narratives all day long, no matter if it is about buying groceries, whether we think about work or our spouse at home. We make up (short) stories in our heads for every action and conversation. Whenever you hear a story, you want to relate it to one of our existing experiences. I think after knowing all these facts, my goal would be to ask unique questions whilst interviewing and make sure the audience relate to it.


"Telling the Story: Expression of Self for Healing, Leading, Teaching, and Inspiring." Canada Bridges Telling the Story Expression of Self for Healing Leading Teaching and Inspiring Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <http://canadabridges.com/journal/telling-the-story-expression-of-self-for-healing-leading-teaching-and-inspiring/>.

The main focus of this article is about developing a story and then sharing that work. The author suggests that a wisdom story is the best because it cultivates self-awareness as it asks, "Why is this my story? Why are these my most deeply held values, and why do these principles guide me? What motivates me and why?" It captures and reflects upon the driving forces of why you are who you are, and speaks to your life purpose as part of the larger human story. As I have mentioned, I think my main goal should be coming up with deep and broad questions. This source has definitely guided me.