Interviewen over piekervaringen

Ervaringen

Bij verhalende journalistiek gaat het om de ervaring van de mensen naar buiten te brengen. De lezer moet het gevoel krijgen de wereld te zien door de ogen van de mensen die jij hebt gesproken. Dat betekent dat de afstand tussen de lezer en de personages uit je verhaal zo klein mogelijk is. Jij moet daar dus niet als journalist tussen gaan zitten. De uitspraken die je bronnen doen over wat ze hebben meegemaakt, en hebben gevoeld en gedacht gebruik je niet alleen als quote, maar vooral als materiaal voor de reconstructie van hun ervaring.

Vertrouwen

Het eerste wat je dus moet zien te doen is het echte verhaal van je bronnen te krijgen. Daar is vertrouwen voor nodig. Om dat vertrouwen te winnen, moet je je niet alleen hebben verdiept in hun situatie, en echte belangstelling tonen voor hun verhalen, maar je ook bewust zijn van de mogelijke barrieres die tussen jou en je bron staan. Dat is niet alleen jullie beider religieuze achtergrond, maar ook andere gewoontes en gebruiken. Stel je ervan op de hoogte of mensen het wel of niet op prijs stellen dat je ze een hand geeft, en in hoeverre ze het wel of niet op prijs stellen oogcontact te maken. Hoe denken ze over de fysieke afstand die je inneemt tegenover je gesprekspartner? Hoe interpreteren ze een glimlach? Je kunt dat natuurlijk niet allemaal weten, maar je kunt je je er wel zo goed mogelijk van op de hoogte stellen.

Details

Als dat vertrouwen er is, moeten mensen je ook hun verhaal willen vertellen, en je niet alleen maar iets zeggen waarvan zij denken dat je het graag wilt horen. Praat met mensen op plaatsen waar ze zich thuis voelen, of die voorkomen in hun verhaal. Vraag zo min mogelijk naar opvattingen, en zoveel mogelijk naar concrete voorvallen. Vraag niet: vindt u uw leven nu beter dan vroeger? Maar vraag hoe de mensen vroeger leefden en hoe ze nu leven. Probeer daarbij zoveel mogelijk op concrete details in te gaan. Wat hadden mensen voor een kleren aan? Welke personen waren bij de gebeurtenis waarover ze vertellen? Wat zeiden die? Wat gebeurde ervoor, erna? Wat voelden en dachten ze? Wat voor een weer was het?

Verhaal

Om goed te kunnen interviewen, moet je weten hoe je je verhaal gaat vertellen. Er zijn vele verhaalvormen, maar probeer in eerste instantie je verhaal in de derde persoon te schrijven. Dat betekent dat je de wereld beschrijft vanuit de belevingswereld van je personages. Daarvoor moet je weten wat de ander ziet, denkt en voelt. Dat ga je niet verzinnen, daar vraag je naar. Wat je hoort gebruik je voor de reconstructie van hun ervaringen.

Oefening

Schrijf op basis van onderstaand materiaal een alinea die de gebeurtenis op de foto beschrijft. Denk om tijd, plaats, handeling. Beschrijf de handeling zo dat het begin zou kunnen zijn van een langer verhaal.

wp2011

 

World Press Photo 2011

Bron: http://www.worldpressphoto.org/photo/world-press-photo-year-2011-0

 

Fatima al-Qaws cradles her son Zayed (18), who is suffering from the effects of tear gas after participating in a street demonstration, in Sanaa, Yemen, on 15 October. Ongoing protests against the 33-year-long regime of authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh escalated that day. Witnesses said that thousands marched down Zubairy Street, a main city thoroughfare, and were fired on when they reached a government checkpoint near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Some demonstrators retreated, others carried on and were shot at again. At least 12 people were killed and some 30 injured. Ms Qaws—who was herself involved in resistance to the regime—found her son after a second visit to look for him, among the wounded at a mosque that was being used as a temporary field hospital. Zayed remained in a coma for two days after the incident. He was injured on two further occasions, as demonstrations continued. On 23 November, President Saleh flew to Saudi Arabia, and signed an agreement transferring power to his deputy, Abdurabu Mansur Hadi. Saleh’s rule ended formally when Hadi was sworn in as president, following an election, on 25 February 2012.

 

Fatima’s story in her own words

Bron: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/17111673

“On that day, 15 October 2011, there were demonstrations and the demonstrators were attacked. I knew something had happened because there was a power cut. I am always worried because my son always went out to demonstrations, they go out all the time, and because he had been wounded previously I went to the field hospital.

“I looked among the dead people and among the wounded. I went around many times and finally I found him in a small hall not far from the mosque. He had difficulty breathing and I knew that he had suffocated from the tear gas thrown earlier on. So I just took him into my arms and held him very close to me. I didn’t know what had happened to him. Because he had been injured before I was extremely worried.

“I wasn’t aware of what was happening around me, my concern was my son. There may have been people around me but my only concern was my son. I was really upset, but at the same time I was thinking that my son had become a martyr like all the other martyrs of Yemen, all the young people who had fallen.

“First of all I didn’t know anything about the photo that had been taken. But I got a call from my sister in the United Arab Emirates, she told me that her son saw the picture and he thinks that it is Zayed and myself.

“I didn’t believe it at first, especially as it was a veiled lady so no one knows. But then I saw it on Facebook and some friends and young people who were using Facebook sent me the photos on my mobile phone. So this was how I found out about it.

“I do remember that moment, I remember the moment that I embraced him because I thought he was dying. I was crying, but I wasn’t crying because I was sad, I was crying because I had found my son and he wasn’t dead yet.

“People ask me, ‘Were you crying under your veil, were you crying when you saw your son?’ I was happy that he was still alive and could be saved.

“It makes me very happy to see this picture, to see also that it has won such a prestigious award. It makes me proud. Proud for being a woman, proud for being a mother and proud for being Yemeni. I am very proud that this photo is going around the world and that many people have seen it.

“Especially it makes me even happier that Western people have chosen that photo. That would be a real surprise if the photographer comes to Yemen and I will get to meet him. I will thank him that he has made us known to the world, especially the women of Yemen.”

Her son Zayed added, “When I saw the picture I was really taken back to that day. It makes me happy, but I remember what happened on that day, because the picture explains everything, the love of the mother and the wounded son and what happened on that day in Yemen.

“Of course I will go out to demonstrations because nothing has changed, corruption is still around.”

As with all photographs there are many voices at work, many readings and no ultimate truth.

In line with past winners, this picture hits the spot in terms of the language of photojournalism, and is part of a Western heritage the goes back to the birth of the miniature camera. Yet alone it is not the whole story, just a small representation of something that happened. Combined with the words of those in the photo, Fatima al-Qaws and her son Zayed, our reading of it changes and its strength is increased.

Photography is a powerful tool and often has too big a burden placed on its shoulders. It is after all just a split second seen through a small hole. But just sometimes a picture comes along that can carry the load.

 

 

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