LatinaLista — A traveling exhibit and photo-essay book project known as “What I Thought I Saw” challenges people to overcome their bias in assuming they know everything they need to know about a person just by looking at them, not realizing the real stories they’re missing out on.
The book/exhibit features a diverse group of people who, at first glance, don’t look particularly extraordinary. Yet, by taking the time to take a second look and refocusing our “visual intelligence” from perception to reality, the different stories, than what were assumed, emerge from each face to reveal just how badly perceptions stifle interest in one another.
Zoë Rodriguez, a photographer and founder of the project, and Amy Albo, a project writer, shared their experiences with the project with a TEDx audience. According to Albo, “this project has challenged her to notice how easily we insert our own ideas, beliefs and judgments not only into the way we see others but also how we tell their stories.”
The exhibit/book underscores that relying only on “first impressions” of strangers makes the world a lot less interesting and our own networks very small and narrow.