The effort, entitled “Poetic Portraits of a Revolution,” is a result of a number of different ideas coming together, McInerney said.
“This project is kind of like a culmination of synthesizing the spoken word work that I do within the community here and my academic and personal interests,” he said.
Upon arriving in the Middle East, the team will set up interviews with locals — some of whom have already agreed to talk to them.
“We will talk to anyone. We’ve got countries-worth of people, so I’m sure we’ll be alright,” Smego said. “We really want to take a little sliver of each level of society.”
The real work though, will begin when the group returns home. They have already secured a deal for interviews with the WUNC public radio station, Smego said.
“I think Will and Kane will bring our listeners a unique perspective that will compliment the fact-based journalism that our reporters from NPR and the BBC bring our listeners every day,” said David Brower, program director for WUNC.
Smego and McInerney will be sending audio diaries to the station throughout the trip so that WUNC might be able to use their work to form a segment, they said.
“We want to take this method we are using and these poetic portraits that we are creating, which are a combination of photography, oral history, poetry all synthesized together to create this depiction — as accurate as we can be,” McInerney said.
The group will also take part in Carolina Performing Arts’ Process Series, where developing works are showcased, in September. They will be artists-in-residence for a few days, with a day set aside to present their work and receive feedback.
Other potential projects the group has planned include a photographic journal with transcribed interviews, local displays in places like the Ackland Art Museum and a documentary.
Smego and McInerney, also directors of Sacrificial Poets, a local youth poetry organization, said they are looking forward to implementing what they learn in their teaching methods when they return.
“You don’t have to go to the other side of the world to a place where there is a political upheaval going on. You can just go in your own backyard — it is something we can use to learn from everyone’s story,” McInerney said.
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