I've been doing interviews with my mother about each of her drawings. The process felt like we were jumping into her drawings where they became glowing portals to the painful past, into another dimension just like the sci-fi tv shows I grew up with. Surrending to her stories and re-tellings of the past felt like being plugged into another world just like the movie, the Matrix. Each interview felt like a time travel adventure into the past. We leapt into places we had never traversed before and it was illuminating. We had never visited these places because I was too busy trying to intellectually undermine rather than witness how they came to be. Of course there are many other reasons why we never visited, we couldn’t reach these places through plain conversation as our spoken and written communication is a path of treacherous mistranslations and misinterpretation. We've needed all the modes of communication available to us: image, words, gestures, translation software, storytelling and immersion to help us get there.

This process of immersing into her drawings is how I understand the work of deep listening, the practice where one tries to as much as possible, to rid of judgement and preconceptions of the other, in order be present and engaged with the other. Through this project, storytelling and immersion has helped me practice empathy.

If immersion has allowed me to listen deeper, storytelling has allowed me to present her with contrasting information from the inside without destroying her world from the outside.