The Accompagnateur Project: Photography Workshops to Bridge Divides
Accompagnateur (accom-pa-nyeh-teur) Accompaniment is about empowerment through radical empathy. Guiding someone to look deeply and listen fully, fundamentally changes our perspectives from judgmental to accepting. Acknowledging our shared humanity is the first active step toward connection with ourselves and others. As conflicts over race, class, religion, and nation rage around the world, I am working to bridge divides, person by person, community by community, by helping individuals learn how the other feels as their Accompagnateur. — Saskia Keeley
Saskia Keeley guides and teaches students to see members of communities from which they are divided, with clarity and compassion. Students from different cultures are paired in an immersive study of portrait photography. Assignments promote a connection through which both participants come to understand each other. Assigning each to photograph the other breaks cultural barriers and provides the chance to literally see one another from a new perspective.