Email:
jacob@hansjacobschmidt.com

1103 words on a photograph depicting Angela Yvonne Davis meeting Erich Honecker in 1972. The photograph is discussed using a visual thinking strategy which limits engagement with the photograph to three basic questions: What is going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What more can we find? No additional information is given, however previous knowledge can be applied by the subjects of the facilitation.

Facilitator: So, they are basically… So, let me show you this image. What’s going on in this picture? [The facilitator turns the laptop around, revealing the image.]

Subject 1: Do we both go?

Facilitator: Yeah.

Subject 1: Ahem…Wait, ok, I have one question before we start which is just that like…Are all these gonna be like works of art? Or could they be any image, like…

Subject 2: Yeah, like…

Facilitator: …It can actually be … it … it was … developed for

Subject 1: …for the museum, but I guess I am meaning in terms of how you are using it.

Facilitator: For me, we are just gonna be talking about this image today.

Subject 1: OK.

Subject 2: I see.

Facilitator: And… what’s going on in this image?…

Subject 1: [laughs] OK.

Subject 2: We have two people. A man and a woman. Shaking hands and what seems to be a kind of corporate setting. There are lockers behind them and then she’s got a binder with some kind of insignia on it. Ahem…

Subject 1: It could be … ahem. It could be like, a portfolio from possibly their workplace. It could be a book. Right.

Subject 2: She is … ahem.

Facilitator: So you are sensing that it is sort of a professional setting?

Subject 1: Yeah.

Facilitator: In which two people are encountering one another, there is some sort of labour that is being portrayed.

Subject 1: Yeah, It seems as though maybe like they have been in a meeting, which, the reason I say that is that, because it looks like there is a chair. There are a few chairs in the background. And there is one in the right hand corner…and this right there.

Facilitator: Yeah.

Subject 1: And it makes me wonder, if that is like another body. That is leaning over or that’s just the edge of a body that is…a chair.

Facilitator: Yeah, so you are noticing things in the background. There, there is some details … that are being obscured by the figures, in which other furniture … perhaps other people are being suggested into

Subject 1: Yeah.

Facilitator: …into the background.

Subject 1: And it looks like, and thats what makes me think. That maybe they just come to some type, almost like historic, kinda of deal has been made. Or some kind of…

Subject 2: Their both, yeah, they are both outwardly smiling. They seem happy, he seems to be quite a bit older then her.

Facilitator: What do you see that makes you say that?

Subject 2: That he is older then her?

Facilitator: Yeah.

Subject 2: Well, she … He’s go grey hair. Glasses. He is well dressed. He seems to be like someone, who might be…if its…in some kind of corporate setting. A thing that might be kind of on the…have a higher position than she… Aehm, but that’s because of it;

Facilitator: So you are…

Subject 2: That is because of his suit …

Facilitator: Yeah.

Subject 2: And his tie… and his attire.

Facilitator: So you are noticing that he seems to be well dressed. He has this position of power, perhaps.

Subject 2: He’s got his left hand on her elbow, as he is shaking her hand.

Facilitator: Yeah.

Subject 2: Which is kind of …aehm, yeah its a…to me kind of … its a position of …you know…superiority. Or something.

Facilitator: Yeah, this superiority. So what more can we find?

Subject 1: Well, I guess, and the reason why I would say that the woman is younger is because…I mean, she seems like she is stylish, and has like…

Facilitator: What makes you say stylish?

Subject 1: OK, Hair-do … Aehm … She is wearing like jewelry

Facilitator: Yeah.

Subject 1: Its like,

Facilitator: So you are noticing…

Subject 1: …and the sweater…and an afro…yeah…so…

Facilitator: So what more can we find?

Subject 2: The photograph, I mean, just on a different level also seems like it might date back to like the 60’s or 70’s.

Facilitator: What makes you say that?

Subject 2: Well the hairdo, the suit, the woman afro, the suit, his glasses, the fact that it’s a black and white photograph. I know we are not seeing it context, its on a screen.

Subject 1: It’s interesting to me how…

Subject 2: Even, the insignia on the binder seems to be like out of 1960s graphic design. And yeah…

Facilitator: So you are noticing details that seem period specific?

Subject 2: Right.

Facilitator: You are thinking about sort of fashion from the 60s.

Subject 2: Yeah.

Facilitator: You are thinking about the graphic design on a binder that she is holding.

Subject 1: And I want, one thing that I find interesting about the photograph is that how the white man is wearing lighter clothing.

Facilitator: Yeah.

Subject 1: And the black woman is wearing darker clothing. So that seems that like…In my mind accentuates like, or sort of emphasizes more of like the racial implications. Of …

Facilitator: What makes you say racial implications?

Subject 1: Well, just in the way, actually, for me…like I was saying… that that is like…its made more prominent by strictly formal things, like clothing and stuff.

Facilitator: Yeah.

Subject 1: Just makes me really curious to know what kind of transaction is happening here. And also…

Subject 2: The man’s gaze is kind of outward but not directly at the viewer. Like he is addressing an other person. Or, maybe, there might be another photographer.

Subject 1: Press secretary or something…somebody

Subject 2: Yeah, exactly.

Facilitator: So you are now starting to speculate about the surrounding… this sort of the implication obviously there is a photographer. But the photographer isn't actually being acknowledged. There could be even multiple photographers. Sort of documenting that scene.

Subject 2: Her gaze is kinda fixed on him, and she has a big smile on so. It makes me think that perhaps… That he has just announced …Whatever the announcement was …It may have come from him as he is addressing the crowd. Or something like that,…

Facilitator: ok.