Showing the Story: Bowl Visual Scribes


What is a Visual Scribe?

Visual Scribes are graphic curators. They’re artists who create real-time visual mementos of classes, club meetings, assemblies, performances, and competitions. Virtually any event. But they do more than record the moment. They highlight important ideas. They help people focus on concepts and make new thought connections. Their presence is engaging, energizing and often inspiring for participants. Equally important, their picture ideas are captivating and entertaining to look at and reflect on--when the event is over.

Through time, scribes have played a central role in Ethics and Philosophy.

Some famous philosophers, Socrates and Confucius, among them, never wrote anything. Their work is known to us only because their students wrote down their teacher's words.  

Likewise, if visual scribes had existed long ago, today, we might have more accurate images of lost and legendary libraries such as Nineveh, Nalanda and Alexandria.

A2Ethics is honoring the philosopher scribe tradition by giving such valuable skills a new opportunity and well as a new tradition. We are looking for visual scribes to document the 2021 Michigan High School Ethics Bowl. You can see examples from prior Ethics Bowls here.

How Can I Participate as a Visual Scribe in the 2021 Ethics Bowl?

If your high school has a current Ethics Bowl team, sign up to join your team as a 2021 Bowl visual scribe. Each school can have two visual scribes. 

Then what?

At the annual Bowl weekend, you will be called on to draw and illustrate some of your team's competing rounds with other school teams. Afterward, your scribing will serve as a visual history and primary memento of that year's Bowl. Your work will be at the Bowl, and later published on the A2Ethics website and social media. Further, you have the choice to share your work on your favorite media to showcase your experiences and talents. After all, your Bowl sketches can be recognized and used in your artist portfolio.  

What about before the Bowl? 

Before the will want to practice. Just as your teammates are routinely getting together to discuss and practice their arguments for the Bowl competition, you will--and are encouraged to--attend these Bowl practices. At practices, you will mostly be listening to the case study scenarios and accompanying arguments teammates present and critique. (Don't be afraid to contribute your own views during practice discussions with your teammates). Going to practices allows you to think about potential images, portraits and ideas embedded in the ethics case studies used in the Bowl competition. 

Are Visual Scribes competing with other Visual Scribes? 

No. It's true are a member of your school's team. So, that if your school team wins the state championship, you will hold up the winning trophy with your Bowl teammates. You are not, however, in a race or contest with other scribes. The Bowl is not a juried event for scribes. It is a way to include new approaches to thinking at the ultimate thinking event!  

What is the main role of visual scribes at the Bowl?

Your important role is to follow and sketchnote the actual on-the-day-of-the-match discussions and arguments of the various teams and judges over the course of the Bowl. In fact, you are the artist of the match! Further, you are showing all the  participants--and the audience too--the essential value of listening closely in real time. And the relevance and relationship between improvising and on-the-spot visual thinking in our society. At the end of the Bowl, not only will everyone be rehashing what they have heard from the Bowl team and judge discussions. They will be talking together about what you, in your visual scribe role, have imagined and drawn too. 

Can you see yourself in the role of a Bowl visual scribe? Put yourself in the picture! Help Michigan High School Ethics Bowl teams~draw on~their conclusions! To become a visual scribe, please let your Ethics Bowl teacher adviser/coach know about your interest. Or contact A2Ethics directly at: [email protected].