This past photo essay project definitely taught me a lot; about intercultural communication, patience, and understanding. And by that I mean in all honesty this project was a struggle for me. I think my biggest issue is that I never fully delved into what globalization truly means for a community, both the local area and the global village. I think it was great to get “hands on” with what globalization truly means.
For Ballston, I definitely think that the biggest, most apparent evidence of globalization was with restaurants. It seemed that for every block we walked, there was a Chinese restaurant, a Pilipino restaurant, even Belgian food. And I think that because of these restaurants, I was able to see how much a part of America (and the DC area) migration and immigrants are. In the United States we always talk about immigrants, and controversial or not, the fact of the matter is that immigrants make up America. Globalization makes up America.
I think other than the food, the other type of migration that I noticed (though not so obvious) was the architecture of the city. On the surface, Ballston looks like any other urban area in America; big buildings, public transportation and parks. But as we looked deeper into the architects and artists of the city, our group noticed how much globalization and migration played a role in the creation of Ballston. For instance, the metro was designed by a Swedish Immigrant. It made me realize how important intercultural communication is; with the cooperation of Swedish architecture- knowledge, and the construction workers are, and the approval of the American Government to make the metro, there is so much intercultural communication and ideas that were exchanged. It makes me think that Ballston is just a microcosm for other cities in America when it comes to migration and globalization.
Personally speaking, I think the photo that really impressed me was the photo of the flame. For one, it was an amazing photo; the focal point was the piece of art, and I think our group took the photo in such a way as to emphasize how much light the glass “flame” brings into the area of Ballston. But it even impressed and surprised me more to learn that there are sister “flames” all over the world; it was cool to feel like I was connected to other global citizens; we see the same art work everyday even though we are in completely different places. Although on the surface I feel more connected to my local community, this photo also made me feel connected to the global village; it made me wonder just how many more connections are in my community.
I think that each of us had a unique contribution to the project. I noticed that each member of the team works and thinks differently, which although was tough in the beginning, proved how positive it is for people to have different opinions. For instance, I originally didn’t think of the metro as evidence of globalization, and for a while I struggled to understand what my team mates were saying. However, after having it explained to me, I feel like my mind opened up even more and I began to see globalization even in the littlest things. I truly think that beyond just defining globalization, this project taught me to question and try to understand things more than just the surface. It was a great learning experience.