We went a little nutty when 114 of you, from 24 different countries and all graduation years since the start of UCU, wanted to know more about this edition’s photo project “Snap!” We hadn’t communicated anything other than “we’re doing a photo project” on the UCAA Facebook page, but maybe it was the mystery that intrigued. The thing was, we didn’t really know yet what we were going to ask of you. That changed soon enough: we decided we wanted to see with your eyes what kind of lives you lead and how you experience your day. From its most unusual moments to its most mundane.
Of those 114 people, 40 ended up sending us a week’s worth of snapshots. 34 participants were female, 6 were male, which, our memory wishfully misinforms us, was more or less the gender ratio on campus. We were up to our nostrils in photos. It is around this time when Juan, the intern who we’d been bossing around all week and was now tasked with sorting out the pictures, finally snapped. We laughed because he unknowingly added extra meaning to the title of our project.
There were straightforward assignments: show us the contents of your fridge, your front door, your street name, a skyline. What’s a tree you like, and what’s your mode of transport? But there were also shadier ones: take a picture of a tricky situation, something annoying, something misplaced, a sanctuary. Participants were given a week to snap as many of these things as they wanted and could.
Then there was the other part of the project, the one for which we sent you three text messages on Monday the 13th of May. What were you looking at when you got this message? What is the closest red thing? What’s in your pockets? Far from being a scientifically viable experiment, we can tentatively conclude that you look at laptops a lot, you’re surrounded by a great variety of red things, and you’re generally pretty poor (or, more likely, you don’t keep your moolah in your pockets.)
Throughout the pages of this edition you’ll find a selection of the snaps you took, but not all seven million of them of course. We had to choose, and we sincerely hope we did justice to your efforts. We are, however, working on putting them all up on a website: www.Snapperdeflap.com. (Obviously Snap.com was taken, and this was the next best thing.)
Juan is doing better now. We poured a couple of drinks in him, and he made a few astute observations about how “design means bringing order to chaos” before falling into a twitchy slumber atop his keyboard.
We hope you enjoy this Post. Apart from the overload of photos, we have some great, challenging articles, a dash of fiction, and even a spot of poetry. And remember: we’re always looking for great stories, so get in touch. We know all of you have one!