Greetings from 2020! It has been quite a year, hasn’t it? What with the global pandemic, the protests, the election, the economy, and this thing called Zoom? So much has happened and every day we all wonder — is 2020 a year we want to remember? The answer to that question is — YES, we do! And what will help us remember it? By creating postcards!
Postcards From 2020 is a new, dual-discipline course taught by writer, Kate Oberdorfer and photographer, Jennifer Spelman. In this online workshop we focus on the important moments from 2020, using language and images to document our experience. Each of our four group sessions offers you the opportunity to sort through your thoughts and feelings about 2020 in order to extract the most meaningful experiences and memories from this extraordinary year. We focus on shaping these insights into brief and concise language that fit on the back of a postcard.
One need not have any writing experience to author a postcard. Postcards are brief, but they capture the essence of an experience: what is felt, what is thought, what is seen, what is tasted, and what is remembered. And they are written to a writer’s chosen “you,” and depending on that chosen “you,” the writer’s voice will inevitably change. We spend a lot of time talking about the writer’s voice and begin each session with a writing exercise to guide our writing mind as well as to inspire our photographic mind.
The photographic images provide flavor and context to the postcard—deepening the written word as only a visual image can do. The photographic exercises focus on how best to parallel the mood of our image to the accompanying text. Together we explore vantage point, metaphor, light, and moment as tools to reflect our visual voice — always considering how best to craft a story with a singular image.
As a result of each group session, you pair a handwritten message to an image which is then turned into a print-on-demand postcard and mailed to someone of your choosing. The fourth postcard will be sent to a Senior Citizen’s Center to cheer up and support an elderly person who has been isolated during this year.
The objective of this workshop is not only to create an end product (the postcards), but to process in language and visually your experiences in 2020.