ULS brings interactive photo experience for next event

Dear World, the interactive photo project, is coming to campus on Wednesday as the next ULS host. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

At Bull Market on Wednesday, representatives from the organization Dear World will be interacting with students leading up to the University Lecture Series event that evening.

Dear World takes pictures of participants with messages written on their skin. It’s geared toward storytelling from personal experiences, tributes to places and thank you notes. 

“Dear World goes to different campuses, conferences and conventions, sets up shop and people are able to tell their stories via pictures and also write a message on their arm to help share their story,” said Marion Huntley, coordinator for the Center for Student Involvement (CSI).

The representatives will be listening to student stories on Tuesday and Wednesday to find five students willing to go up during the lecture that night to tell their story to a wider audience. 

“They work with people to share their message,” Joshua Wilson, associate director for CSI, said. “They have conversations with folks and they ask, ‘What does that mean to you?’ (Dear World) sees how they describe it, and then talks with them about their interest to potentially speak among their peers.”

The movement started in New Orleans as love letters to the city, but has since branched out to include the college tour. Dear World has photographed Syrian refugees and survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing. It focuses on the fact that everyone has a story to be told and how telling them can bring people together. 

Huntley said CSI hopes this different kind of lecture for ULS will bring out a different kind of crowd to the event.

“We hope that students are invested in each other, as well as what they’re going through,” she said. “And their stories will bring more people out and a different crowd because it is their peers who are going to be lecturing.”

According to their contract, Dear World is receiving $12,500 for the event, which includes two days of talking to students and gathering stories prior to the actual lecture.

“I think it’s something different for ULS to kind of change it up a little bit,” Huntley said. “As well as, we know that all of our students have a story and that we want to give them the chance to be the lecturers for the evening.”

The lecture will be held in the Oval Theater on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.