I think the life-story interview for the Global Lives project needs to contain 3 parts. The first part should cover background information about the subject, family, pets, date and place of birth, age, current place of residence, profession/occupation, current projects.

After the background information is given, a second part of the interview could be to talk about the character's daily activities, daily schedules. What time does the person get up, what does he/she leave his/her house, how does he/she commute to work/school? What does she do during the day? What are some of the things that she does during the day that she likes most doing and what things does she hate doing? In the case of Tokyo or any metropolis, riding trains although very practical, can be stressful during rush hours and many people express negative feelings towards this part of their day.

Other points related to the daily issues could cover: where and what does the subject have lunch? Any preferences? Jobs? Hobbies? Free time activities? Likes and dislikes?

Once the interviewer has spent quite a bit of time getting to know the subject, the third part of the interview can cover more private issues such as dreams, future plans, personal opinions about specific situations, memories, and reflections.

Of course, this is a very basic structure and if the subject starts to talk about something interesting that was not planned for, he/she shouldn't be interrupted or discouraged. It's important to pay attention and be sensitive to the subject, what he/she has to say and how he/she says it.

Just some ideas...


"About the suggested questions for Global Lives, perhaps you could ask them questions related to socio-economic wealth, and how they feel about the distribution of wealth across the globe... what their passions are? how their childhood they see themselves as old people.."

-Soraya Umewaka, Japan