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Joseph Xu

Meet BOS Member Joseph Xu | Senior Multimedia Producer for the University of Michigan

Where do you consider your hometown?

Novi, MI is my hometown, just a drive over from Ypsilanti.

How long have you been in Ypsi?

I don’t live in Ypsilanti anymore, but I did live here for one year when I was transitioning out of college — and it’s always stuck with me. I keep coming back here for one reason or another.

What do you like about Ypsi?

There’s a stratification of people here along race & ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, and other identities. There’s such a strong community of local businesses that are built in homage to the identities and roots of family members and communities that branch outside of Ypsilanti. I hope that stays here.

What passion are you pursuing at The BOS?

I primarily do photo and video work for the University of Michigan, but involve myself in a small amount of freelance and personal projects on the side. The camera is a tool for me to meet people and ask the questions that I want to ask. In some sense, I’m trying to become a better human through the work that I do.

What is a fun BOS story?

I came here when Michigan businesses started reopening in the COVID-19 era and I needed a place to separate work from home. The location is safe and intimate and has kept me productive. And people watching is always a fun distraction, too.

What is your favorite food?

Favorite food: Vietnamese. I was in Ho Chi Minh city last fall and have been nostalgic for the experience of eating hot spicy broth-based foods in 95F and 90% humidity. It really is an otherworldly experience.

Is there anywhere you would like to travel?

I’m really itching to get back to Bogota, Colombia. I started some photo work with an NGO there last year and was slated to go back this May before the global pandemic started shutting everything down. It’s a storied area that’s figuring out it’s next chapter and I hope that I can continue to learn about it and maybe even contribute to documenting it.

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