One September evening, a group of Weston students walked past a disfigured man in a wheel-chair begging outside the school. No one said hello or even acknowledged him, which prompted Gene later to ask aloud of his friends, “What are we about here? What are we studying?” A case of the discomforting applicability of that familiar tale of the Good Samaritan? As a result of Gene’s apt questions, Mev made it a point to greet the man the next time she saw him; she was struck by his delightful smile. In posh and trendy Cambridge, Mev often witnessed homeless people struggling to find food and succor. As she later wrote me, their plight compelled her to want “to photograph. Interact. Bridge. Communicate. Advocate. Enter. Feel. Immerse. Scream.Be with. Cry. Create. Awaken!!!”
—The Book of Mev
The Japanese have a word, ikigai, which means your reason for living, what gets you out of bed in the morning. In The Book of Mev, it’s obvious that Mev Puleo was in touch with her ikigai, and a big part of it was taking photographs and collecting stories to share with friends and a broader public.
We want to focus on Mev’s life and invite people familiar with the book to take a deeper look at their spiritual, political, and social journeys through the practices of photography and daily writing. Cami will lead us in using our cameras (most likely cell phones) to mindfully document our lives and our worlds, while Mark will pull from Mev’s writing some themes and genres as examples for our own personal exploration.
We will meet weekly on Mondays by Zoom, beginning on 2/27/23. We will go for six sessions from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Central Time meeting every week. In between classes participants will need at least three hours for exploring creative assignments. A blog will be available for communal sharing of images and reflections. Cami and Mark are available during the week for check-ins, if desired.
Familiarity with The Book of Mev
Access to a cell phone
Writing device or paper and pen
Affability, daring, gratitude
Tuition is $150, payable to Cami Kasmerchak (Paypal email@example.com or venmo@Cami-Kasmerchak)
If interested email: firstname.lastname@example.org