the most amazing thing about the power of a short story is how much a few simple elements can resonante so deeply with the reciever. think about some of these challenges - postsecret. six-word memiors. texts from last night. it has a traditional beginning-middle-end story arc, though of course it happens in an ultra-condensed form.
someone once told me about Ernest Hemingway's answer to a challenge: write a short story in six words or less. his answer: "For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn." my God. all the miles of emotion and heartache you can run though in ten seconds.
Michael Wolf's project inspires that same kind of humanity in his series "100x100. Photographs of residents in their flats in hong kong's oldest public housing estate: 100 rooms, each 100 square feet in size."
as you click through, you see all the variations on a theme - depressed, lonely, overcrowded lives shoved into boxes - but then you see glimmers of hope shine through. organization in chaos. photos of loved ones. you start to see the pride, and then you start to see that these are actual lives being lived. each photograph showcases the accumulation of a person, and the stories begin to write themselves.