By Reina Hernandez
Curious about the people and projects you might find at the Hive? In the spring 2018 semester, our Storytelling Team started a multimedia project called Voices of the Hive. Inspired by the colorful moments we share with people who come to the Hive, this project offers glimpses into the voices, creations, and experiences that shape and are shaped in this space.
For our first avenue of explorative storytelling, Voices of the Hive takes the form of a mini-podcast series (see our first episode below). Tune into these brief podcasts, to be released every Friday this month (November 2018), to hear about the meaning and creations of the Hive community, from faculty to students.
The Story Behind Voices of the Hive:
When we, the Storytelling Team at the Hive, first thought of this project, it was supposed to be a short article for this blog. Podcasts, videos, visual essays, and other means of storytelling weren’t originally part of the picture. Voices of the Hive started off as a blog post driven by this idea of highlighting Hive happenings in the fall semester to inspire more shared experiences with the fresh start of the spring semester. In our initial stages of writing the post, the Storytelling Team asked the rest of the Hive staff a question: What was your favorite Fall 2017 moment at the Hive?
This question brought out a variety of funny, heartwarming, memorable, and downright cool moments. As these mini-interviews came along, I was inspired by what people shared. Each shared memory was so different from the other, yet connected by the space the Hive creates for The Claremont Colleges community and beyond. By the end of the interviewing stage, we had a collection of glimpses into the experiences people have at the Hive, or because of the Hive. Some of my personal favorites are when Rhiannon (SC ‘20) roller-skated around the Hive and befriended a visiting young girl, and when Maya (PO ‘18) taught a creative coding workshop that got her friend to fall in love with computer coding. Another favorite is the time Linda (Operations Czar and Hive Historian) participated in a meditative practice in the Vault led by Shaheen Plunier (CGU, Drucker School of Management, who is trained in meditation practice), or when Akotowaa (PO ‘20) attended a deeply moving event from Pomona College’s Know Your History Event Series surrounding being immigrants in the US.
Call it emotional attachment to my work, but I felt that simply writing a story about these people’s favorite moments wouldn’t capture or do justice to the magic of the moment. A blog post as the medium to share these experiences didn’t seem to reflect the multifaceted nature of these stories and personalities. These brief vignettes alone have a complexity to them, an entire experience that cannot be simplified to just a few sentences.
What did feel right, however, was to highlight these experiences in the way they were shared with me. In this case, it was through oral storytelling –their voices. DD (PO ‘18), one of our team members, proposed the idea of making a podcast, and boom! The idea of Voices of the Hive as a mini-podcast series emerged.
As we grew more excited for this project, we saw this story’s potential to go beyond the Hive staff, as many more perspectives exist at the Hive. A variety of workshops take place in this space, classes are held here, and many students love to create and hang out. Why not ask them about their favorite memories and offer a platform to share their thoughts and creative processes, as well?
What Voices of the Hive was becoming felt like an interesting way to personalize the Hive and show what opportunities exist here (i.e., the opportunity of taking a class at the Hive). It also allows those who use the space for exploring creative ways of doing, learning, and teaching classes to tell their story about why they use the Hive.
Voices of the Hive, like many things at the Hive, is a prototype. It has potential as an easy and accessible storytelling tool for Hive users. This prototype has room for further development in different directions, experimentation, and possible failure. Permission to fail allows the project to take risks and hopefully grow into an exploration. Part of this exploration can manifest itself in trying out storytelling in different mediums (visual essays, photos, installations, and other ways of storytelling). Hopefully, this will reflect the prototyping and supportive culture of the Hive.
We hope to reflect different possibilities through these mediums, and to show that we too are susceptible to failure when exploring, and that can many times be a good thing.
Listen to the first episode of our podcast here with Professor Sharon Stranford (Pomona Biology). Check back each Friday this month for new episodes!