On the freeways of southern California, my sister used to do this thing when traffic was bad where she’d stick her head out the window and point to where she was (attempting) to merge.
Now if you’ve ever driven in such a situation, you’ll understand that people don’t tend to enjoy another car taking up one more space between them and their destination. In fact, they’ll often speed up just to make sure it doesn’t happen.
However, when she stuck her head out and looked at the person in the lane over, she was given the space to merge, every time. Any short or long term Angeleno knows traffic in LA is miserable, but this plea always proved undeniable.
So why did this happen?
When she did this, her car was no longer a piece of metal getting more in the way of someone’s destination. It became a person, with a face and a destination as well.
She made the situation a conversation between people.
By talking to individual people from different places, news stories, stereotypes and a color distinction on a map become a person, with a face, with stories, families, loves and hates.
We begin to see ourselves.
The sentiments of people interviewed here don’t represent entire countries, states or even cities. However they give us a glimpse into another place– something that might be unknown to the listener.
Some of the ancient Greeks believed stars functioned as holes in the dark sky, revealing only specs of a bright, unknown fire on the other side. Through music, these are stories that serve a similar purpose.