DocLab Shorts 24 Nov at 19:45
A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.
The Burning House
What would you rescue if your house was on fire?
It’s a question everyone gets asked at some point.
The Burning House is a website that lets a different person answer this question every day. The voluntary participants post their reaction in the form of a picture of the things they would save, and a factual summary to explain their choice.
“What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.”
Indeed, the choices are often highly personal. Sometimes they are easily understood: your baby, your cat, your wedding ring. But more often the choices stimulate your imagination. A copy of Peter Pan your dad gave you when you were seven years old? An old button that used to belong to your grandmother? A poem your sister wrote?
Supplemented with sparse personal details such as age, place of residence and profession, the brief summaries keep the visitors guessing about the underlying motivations. Why these objects in particular? Where does pragmatism shift into sentimentality? And to what extent are these choices bound to a certain moment in time? For instance, would the girl who submits her iPod have wanted to drag along her complete CD collection 10 years ago?