Remote Re-Imagining


Nadine Zaza

Remote Re-Imagining

Remember, respond, Re-imagine,  reignite

When you can imagine you begin to create and when you begin to create you realize that you can create a world that you prefer to live in, rather than a world that you're suffering in.
Ben Okri

Why do we tell stories?

“Humans have been telling stories for thousands of years, sharing them orally even before the invention of writing. In one way or another, much of people’s lives are spent telling stories—often about other people.

Stories can be a way for humans to feel that we have control over the world. They allow people to see patterns where there is chaos, meaning where there is randomness. Humans are inclined to see narratives where there are none because it can afford meaning to our lives—a form of existential problem-solving.

Stories can also inform people’s emotional lives. Storytelling, especially in novels, allows people to peek into someone’s conscience to see how other people think. This can affirm our own beliefs and perceptions, but more often, it challenges them. Psychology researcher Dan Johnson recently published a study in Basic and Applied Social Psychology that found reading fiction significantly increased empathy towards others, especially people the readers initially perceived as “outsiders” (e.g. foreigners, people of a different race, skin color, or religion).”

Excerpts from The Atlantic Article “ The Psychological Comforts of Storytelling: Why, throughout human history, have people been so drawn to fiction? Written by: Cody C. Delistraty November 2, 2014

Why do we draw?

There is a natural impulse to want to capture and preserve something beautiful and interesting. So we draw. Drawing can teach us to see: to notice properly rather than gaze absentmindedly. In the process of recreating with our own hand what lies before our eyes, we naturally move from a position of observing beauty in a loose way to one where we acquire a deep understanding of its parts. This can be true of capturing what is before you, but more importantly and what we will focus on in this studio, is capturing what is beyond us... an imagined world.

The drawings people create bring you into these worlds they envision and sharing these drawings communicates to people the imagined world, and is ultimately an invitation for you to participate in it. In this studio, you will be asked to reimagine through drawing and will be guided to find your visual voice to do so.

What is our End Goal in this Studio?

“Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed.”
- Joseph Addison

“Perhaps the real reason that we tell stories again and again—and endlessly praise our greatest storytellers—is because humans want to be a part of a shared history.” So what is our end goal?

In the news and social media, there is ungrounded speculation and judgment around the lives of young people. Only you have the power to inform us about your experience at this time. Your words, your thoughts, your experiences…are powerful. No social media outlet or news publication can adequately speculate what you are experiencing during this shared historical moment. There is an untapped potential in young people’s ability to share their stories. In this studio, we use visual literature to encapsulate the lived experiences of today and reimaginings of it to set the tone and hopefully a precursor for how we are going to experience the world after this shared historical pandemic.

Each of you will contribute a story to create collective visual anthropology called “The Quarantine Comic”. As students of this studio, you will be the first contributors to this collection. It will be published and distributed digitally and curated to be in print form.

The ultimate outcome is three-fold:

  1. For you to find your visual voice and have autonomy in what your reimagined world looks like  
  2. For other young people to add to this collection within the NuVu network and our local communities, making it a monumental piece that demonstrates how others are reimagining and experiencing their current worlds.
  3. For young people all over the world to have access and contribute to this collection. This is a rare moment in history, as this pandemic touches all parts of the globe and this is a way to represent those stories.

Through a collective reimagining, this visual anthology, we can represent and create a connection between culture, experience, and identity. Maybe we’ve just needed a shared historical moment to do so...


Nadine Zaza