Taoutel: The Selfie We Don’t Want to Post

CATEGORIES: November 2016

By: Jean-Pierre Taoutel

On the first day of class in my Honors Seminar “That’s Me in the Corner”, students are given a photo that represents a random person suffering from one of today’s plagues (organ traffic, modern slavery, child soldiers, forced prostitution, etc.). Who is this person? What is his/her problem? How come he/she has ended up in this situation?

I tell the students that they are the person in the photo. This is their new “selfie” – obviously a selfie they wouldn’t be proud to post everywhere. Then each student needs to do research and gain more in-depth awareness of these issues that, even if they don’t make the headlines, affect the lives of millions of people around the world.

In today’s world, where everyone wants to be in the spotlight and esteemed, we put more value on self-worth. What do these ordinary people in the “selfie” teach us about ourselves? By looking at their lives and sharing their stories, students are asked to question our system of values. When we look at things from this perspective, we might ask ourselves: “Are we as important as we think”?

Because we could all have been that person in the corner!

Here are a few examples of images from “That’s Me in the Corner”:

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