“What if we could just ask each other a question again and find out what’s really going on at the other end?” This simple question forms the basis of our methodology.
First Round: gathering questions
Armed with a big booth, a set of headphones and two iPhones, we take the TruthAgency to the streets. We look for a busy spot in town and set up. We open the booth, to draw attention and create a space where we can gather the questions without being distracted by our surroundings. After setting up, we start. The process is simple. We approach the passersby, asking them if they want to ask a question to someone in the Uganda/the Netherlands. Everybody is welcome to participate, no matter what gender, age, background etc. If someone wants to join, we start the routine. First, we show the participant a video on a iPhone hanging on the left. This is an one-minute video in which we show short shots of the city on the other side, so that the participant has a better understanding of the environment their question is directed to. After that, we ask them one question: if you could ask anything to someone in Uganda/the Netherlands, what would you ask? This question will be recorded on a iPhone hanging on the right, with a selfie camera. We use the selfie camera because it gives a more personal and intimate feel to our content. We ask the participants to first introduce themselves, then ask the question. After the question is asked, we hand them a flyer with more information about the project, our contact information and the release date of the all the question and answers. We thank them for joining the project and continue looking for more questions.
Second Round: finding the right answers
Having gathered all the questions, we take them back to the other side. For this round we use another booth, our answer-booth. This is a portable version of our big booth. If we want to find the right answers, we have to go to more specific places and our smaller booth gives us the freedom to move around. The proces is quite similar, but instead of showing the one-minute video in iPhone hanging on the left, we show the respondents the question we have for them. Now that the respondent has an idea to whom their answer will be returned, they respond to the question. This answer will also be recorded on a iPhone hanging on the right, once again with the selfie camera. The participants first introduce themselves and then answer the question. We ask them to give an answer based on their own experience with the subject, on the spot without any preparations. This makes the answer personal and as soon as the question and answer come together, you get a real face-to-face, person-to-person, interaction.
In the end, all our questions and answers will be published on our site. Through the web, we can return the answers to our participants.