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Blog: Video & Sound

ITPG-GT 2001-003

Tutor: Gabe


Part I: 

Create a short sound collage 15 - 30 seconds in length that tells the story of a place or space entirely through sound.

Sound Link:

00:00 / 00:30

Please use a headphone :)

Title: Duel


The intention was picturing two samurais having a sword duel in a rainy night. I collected different footstep sounds and sword sounds, making one coming from left and one from right. It's the first time for me to use Adobe Audition, and I found many similar parts with Premiere. Anyway it's a fun exercise for me to get used to the software!

Part II: 

Watch The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and write a response on your blog.

The Stories We Hear, The Danger We Face



Chimamanda’s talk was absolutely brilliant, and crucial, especially in today’s world.

In her talk Chimamanda describes the danger of a single story that it can break the dignity of a (group of) people. The talk was made in 2009, and 10 years later I think it is still true. Plus, from a today’s perspective a single story can also bring hatred. Lots, lots of hatred.

5 or 10 years ago a study said that each day, we are receiving information which can be equivalent to 174 newspapers. And today I’ll say it’s countless. Does it mean that we all have learned to see things from different perspectives, and there are no more ‘single stories’ or stereotypes? Well it might be true for some people, but definitely doesn’t apply to everyone. In a such ‘information booming’ age, people can completely fulfill their curiosity only upon the ‘news’ they are glad to see. For example, there was an ‘unfriending’ trend which happened around 2014 in eastern Asia, people with different thoughts and standpoints were attacking, and unfriending (or unfollowing) each other in Facebook or other platforms. Everyone thought the media they had been following was the only truth, and many of them loved to claim others were ‘brainwashed’, or other media platforms were ‘fake news’, ‘propaganda machines’… 

Well several years have passed, it only gets worse – and now it’s not only happening in eastern Asia. 

Media companies are most responsible for it of course; YouTube and Facebook are tending to recommend contents to users based on their algorithm of ‘what users wish to see’, and more traditional news companies are becoming more extreme than ever. (i.e. It’s almost kind of politically correct for Fox News to be opposite to CNN, and vice versa.) The impact media has upon us is sometimes more powerful than we thought.

Apart from that, the existence of prejudging is barely avoidable, since it’s not easy to tell if a story is ‘single’, but discrimination and potential harmful actions are. My experience towards it is, don’t judge/react too much to a culture I have not experienced in person. For example if you have a close friend from China/Japan/Mexico or whatever country you have never been to, but always heard about; and you have many comprehensive discussions on it with that friend, and thus you believe that you are not a ‘single story believer’, a person who understands that culture completely: that is also dangerous. Because we all have our own values, and our perspectives are naturally tilted. 

I was born and raised in China, since my parents were working for American companies at that time when I was small and had never been abroad before, I had a well-developed idea of what USA was like; at least that’s what I thought. Later I attended a summer camp in LA and it was the first time for me to experience America by myself. What a difference. What’s more profound was when the Americans, or the Chinese living in America were talking to me about a ‘China’ I’ve never heard of.

I suddenly realized, and could totally imagine when Marco Polo wrote that people were carrying three heads and eight eyes in the far east.

Well, will that be a big problem? Not really. It is even fun, sometimes, to share our cultural opinion with each other. However today, becoming a devout believer could make the things go wrong. Being vigilant against the individuals/media with discourse power could be crucial, or belief could lead to trust, trust could lead to blame on other individuals/cultures, and finally this kind of blame could lead to hatred.

What can be even more dangerous is, the politicians all using such hatred for their own purpose. They love to label other group of human beings with different ideologies as ‘enemies’, ‘evil’, ‘ones in different camps’, or, ‘shithole countries’…

People of other races are not monsters, and the views in other parts of the world are not the same from the YouTube videos we watch. 

So for us artists and story tellers, it is an important era. For ourselves, I think it’s important to look at things in as many perspectives as we can, and be careful with the outcome value we want to bring out. As a part of ITP community, it’s also important to build more bridges between people, and find the real, the way it should’ve been to use the technology. It is our privilege, and our duty. From then, followed by what Chimamanda has described, finally “we regain a kind of paradise”.


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