I met some wonderful academics and filmmakers at the AHRC Workshop: ‘Connecting or Excluding? New Technologies & Connected Communities’, in Glasgow last week. Thank you to Andrew Prescott and Keri Facer for the invitation. Helen Manchester gave a keynote about her research on the Tangible Memories project and Parlours of Wonder and I was lucky to also have some rich discussions with her separately. We shared some of our similar experiences of how people living in care homes find ways to ‘place themselves in age’ – meaning that because the care home is a complex environment, that is at times more a workplace than a homely one, people living there often find personal ways to adapt to this. This chimed with work that I’ve done with Sian Lindley and it was fascinating to hear Helen speaking about her experiences.
The work of Michele Aaron and Briony Campbell in the research Life:Moving Digital Technology and Human Vulnerability: Towards an Ethical Film Praxis was astonishing. They introduced and screened a number of the films at the workshop and this, for me, set such an important tone for the whole 2 days of presentations, discussions and thinking about what it means to support self through digital technologies and what an ethical praxis is in challenging contexts like end of life. Through the project collaboration between researchers, photographer and film-maker and hospice patients the power of film was explored to “communicate the meaningful and honest experiences of those affected by terminal illness.” The work was supported in part by the John Taylor Hospice, University of Birmingham and the AHRC.
There are so many things to say about this work – and also the stunning film made previously by Briony – The Dad Project There is a beauty in each of the films and once I’ve digested the work further I’ll write again about them as there are some incredibly significant things for us to consider on the project and as we start to work in depth with people ourselves.
Helen, Michele and Briony have agreed to act as critical friends to the Ongoingness project and I’m looking forward to their perspectives on what we are developing and the rich conversations to come.
Written by Jayne