Behind the Story: John Washington, Arizona

Behind the Story August 15, 2011 20:12

The most amazing thing about PenTales stories is the people who share them. With “Behind the Story”, we introduce you to some of the personalities, voices, and stories behind the stories.

1. What inspired the story you submitted to PenTales’s “Borders” contest?

I volunteer with the migrant-aid organization No More Deaths. The suffering on, around, and because of the border between the United States and Mexico is incalculable. Millions of people are exploited, abused, oppressed and treated as less than human. Hundreds of thousands have been broken from their families and deported. Thousands have died. Though awareness of this human rights catastrophe has been growing, the awareness seems vague and is not spurring action. I am exploring different ways of telling the story of the people I meet along the border, the people who suffer because of the border.

2. What ingredients make a good story?

Movement. Nothing better than movement in a story. Or stillness. Nothing better than a still story, completely still. A quiet story too. Everybody loves silence. Silence makes a good story. A moving silent quiet.

3. Describe to us your favorite character from a story, a movie, a TV show, a painting, etc. Why do you relate to this character?

Novalis’ Henry von Ofterdingen, for his incredible capacity to be earnest.

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