Final Thoughts: Hope for Dialogue
During our trip to Germany, our team thought about definitions. We especially thought about the definition of our organization and what it means to be a platform for under-told stories and a vehicle for social change. Throughout many of our interviews, Mackenzie and I did not come in with a set of questions. Naturally, this can lead to anxiety as an interviewer because much of what will happen in the interview is uncertain. At the same time, that was the beauty of most of our interviews. The uncertainty. The openness. We understood that the themes of home, identity, and belonging are as personal as they get, and we wanted people to share their true emotions, thoughts, and fears. Throughout our trip, we met people like Robin, Mahmoud, Douaa, Äya, and Zadik, that only not only shared their stories but their presence with us. Thus, saying goodbye to Germany was not as simple as saying goodbye to a place, or an experience, but it meant saying goodbye to people and friendships that have not only shown us around, but have helped us to think, to feel, and to go back to the United States as people who think deeper and differently about home, identity, and belonging.
We learned that to be a platform for under-told social justice issues is to surrender to the stories that we encounter. Our mission is to let the stories unfold naturally; to find out what the story we need to tell is once it has found us. The story we have found is not a simple one. It is multifaceted. Throughout the journey, we realized that we do not have answers to the complicated topic we are investigating. Instead, we only have more questions. But these questions are powerful. And we think these questions can lead us in a better direction. We have learned that to be a vehicle for social change does not mean to share answers, but to share the truth. And to share the complexity of the truth. We hope that this complexity will lead to dialogue. Our goal is that this dialogue will lead to progress and to change. We are so thankful to everyone who has shared themselves with us. They are the true source behind this hope of progress and change.
Danica and Mackenzie, Co-Directors