I am sad that I missed last week’s photo challenge about love. I LOVE love! <3 So, as I was reading through some posts on The Daily Post, I started to get some ideas to try and combine last week’s and this week’s unique. I have pictures of me and my boo, for sure, but what about random signs of love?
I thought about public love notes. Prior to my layoff, I worked with a group of teenage girls on a media project. The neighborhood that many lived in and/or attended school where we held the program is not always the safest and has regular occurrences of violence. In many metropolitan areas this is true, but Chicago has become something of an anomaly and a problem that no one seems to know how to solve.
Our program’s focus was also to challenge media. Oftentimes during our conversations, the young women would be irritated that their communities were vilified and pigeon-holed as gang infested communities and didn’t attempt to take an angle that gave them a voice. So as a way to respond to this dominant narrative, my colleague and I decided to host a community walk to gather footage of what the neighborhood was really like – or at least acknowledge what other assets it had to offer. My colleague had also been inspired by random, public notes (sometimes of love), and thought we might leave notes as well for the community — a positive mark. Nothing much ever came from it. No news team tried to track down the writers or follow up on our aspirations for the community — but our ladies came up with their own notes to post all the same. I wonder, what are your reactions when you become witness to random messages (notes) like these?
Since the project, I’ve become more acutely aware of the random notes left around the city I stomp in. Here are a few of my favorites: