For two weeks I asked one person every day the same question: “What was the most memorable and/or tragic moment you shared with your sibling?”
Just as a preface before you read what I have to say, there’s a lot that goes into each of these short clips with each person. These past two weeks in particular, I feel like I made the most connection with each of the participants. With the first participant for example, I was driving behind the library and I saw this:
I approached this man, while still remaining in my car, and shouted over to him and asked him if I could ask him a quick question for a project I was conducting. He stared blankly and said in broken English that he doesn’t understand English and he is just “being in the sun”. I drove away to the parking lot further away because I figured it would be too difficult to make it work. I parked my car and realized that it was my responsibility to communicate with this man. He was sitting in an empty library parking lot alone. He had to have a story and I had Google Translate. I brought the car back over and took out my phone next to him. He told me that he just moved to the US two days ago from Russia and he was waiting for his English class to start. I started to type into Google Translate explaining the entire 14Strangers project. I showed him the translation and he nodded and said he will try. 15 minutes later, he figured out what he wanted to say, and that’s what you see in the video. I guess he’s had a pretty interesting third day in America considering he’s already posted on the Internet.
In addition to “there’s a lot that goes behind the video of a participant”, I’d also like to include that for many participants, it’s not just a recorded clip. In the past two weeks, two people had cried before I hit record and one person said that they couldn’t talk about it anymore or else they would cry. Everyone needs someone to talk to and I never intended for this project to serve as that outlet, but it seems to have taken on a new mind.
For the next two weeks, think about your sibling. If you haven’t spoken to your sibling in a day, a month or a year, maybe now is the time to say “hello”. Family is family, and as many of the participants demonstrated, sometimes you need to take a second and appreciate the past you’ve had with your sibling.
And for those of you viewers who don’t have a sibling, go appreciate your dog or cat.
As always, stay tuned for a new 14 Strangers.