Between Two Shores was a project in collaboration Michael Stevenson Jr. and the Ethiopian Community in Seattle summer youth program. Each week during the summer program, we worked with the youth to develop interviews and interview skills so that they could gather oral histories from elders in the community. Based on the intergenerational stories gathered by our youth collaborators, a daylong reenactment celebrating the elders’ childhood memories was held at Pritchard Island Beach park in Seattle. Reenacted activities included: rock games, team handball, jump rope, an Ethiopian version of duck-duck-goose, swimming, barefoot soccer, and dancing. Members of the Ethiopian Community in Seattle also cooked some of the elders favorite snacks like dabo kolo, and we provided organic fruits, candies, mango juice, and other treats from the interviews. The youth also drew pictures based on the interviews they conducted and we painted larger scale versions of them on plywood and installed them in the park. This project was made possible with the generous support of Seattle Public Parks and the Office of Arts & Culture.
Images by Jonathan Vanderweit, copyright 2018.