Thursday, 21 January 2016

Memory Day 2 at The Keep

Today we had our second memory day at The Keep, Brighton. 

We had different stations set up for various activities three separate rooms and the pupils from Longhill did another brilliant job in rotating around various roles:

1. Being on the 'front desk' welcoming the older people and directing them to the right room.

2. Being on the 'welcome desk' talking them through the various consent forms they needed to sign.

3. Scanning images that people may have brought in.

4. Assisting photographer Elizabeth Doak in taking portraits.

5. Interviewing older people working with sound recordist Paul Farrington & Nimbus co-director Carina Westling.

6. Generally chatting with newcomers and helping with the essential cups of tea etc.

The pupils were give a hand out of questions related to the different themes to assist them during the interviews. These proved a useful prompt and help keep the interviews on point.

The pupils who had participated in the previous memory day noted that it felt easier second time round.

Giddy Questions handout:

Can you describe what Brighton was like for you as a teenager?
What made you happy/giddy as a teenager?
What's your favourite teenage memory?
What's your favourite teenage hobby/what did you do in your spare time?

Questions around particular themes:

Music and Dancing
Were you into music in your youth? Have you any stories around going to a particular dancehall/venue in Brighton?
Why was/was music important to you and your friends?
Did you have a favourite venue in Brighton?
Can you describe the club/dancehall in more detail  the atmosphere/what people were wearing, how did it feel to be there?

Were friends important to you growing up as a teenager?
Have you got any funny/exciting/scary/giddy memories related to you and your friends?
What did you and your friends do on the weekend?
Did you and your friends ever get into trouble?

Love and Romance
Did you fall in Love in Brighton?
Have you any stories to share about love and romance in Brighton?
What was it like when you were a teenager if you liked someone romantically? Did you go on dates?
Was the cinema a place for love and romance?
What did you do to find love, how did you people people?

Fashion and identity
Was fashion important to you?
Were you part of any sub groups or gangs? - eg mods/rockers
Was how you looked an important part of your identity when you were a teenager?
What kind of things(in fashion/culture) influenced what you wore/how you acted/how you spent your spare time?

Beach and Seafront
Were the beach and seafront and important part of life for you as a growing teenager?
Did you spend time on the beach with your friends? - what kind of things did you do?
Were there any special events/activities that took place on the beach/seafront that you can remember?
Did you go to the beach at night?
What was beach-life like when you were a teenager?

The day was a very social one, once people had finished, scanning, having their portrait taken and being interviewed they stayed around to have a cup of tea and a chat. It was great to see people making connections and sharing their stories of brighton with each other. 

The Longhill pupils had fun making group portraits with Elizabeth. 

Some comments by pupils and a teacher from Longhill:

Today we're at the Keep interviewing people who were teenagers in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.   We’ve all loved listening to the wonderful stories told here by the people who have come from all around Brighton & Hove. - Pupil of Longhill

Students from Longhill School have been given jobs to do, which all involve interacting with the people who have come to visit. Many would agree these jobs have helped them become more confident and more willing to talk to new people.  Some have been involved with interviews, talking to the guests and asking them about their teenage life. Some have been at the front desk asking people to sign consent forms to use the footage of the interviews and pictures.  Others have helped take pictures for the website and the app, and some have been writing the blog. - Teacher, Longhill

Despite only being here a few hours so far, we as a group have met loads of incredible people with amazing stories. It is very interesting to hear what life was like in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Personally – my favourite difference between life now and back then, is that the police were very lenient. One story we heard was about a motorcyclist who drove down the seafront at around eighty miles per hour and the police stopped him. Instead of getting warnings, he was told off and sent on his way. - Pupil, Longhill.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Oral History editing

App designer Peter Pavement and I led the session together today to build on last week session.

They pupils continued to edit the interviews log time-codes as well as research images that connect to the different clips and begin to think about a possibly location that links to the story.

Meanwhile Peter worked with a pupil to create a google document that will log all the data that will be used in the app. What the pupils are beginning to learn is that the nitty gritty of organising and clearly linking all the material is a crucial part of the app design.

The pupils are recording and selecting/curating all the content for the app (through the interview recordings and image research) and must now start to log this material so it makes sense for the App design.

Key elements:

  • Name of interviewer
  • Photo of interviewee?
  • Biog of interviewee (if known)
  • Description of Clip: A best quote from the clip - to entice the user to listen.
  • Timecode
  • Image linked to clip.
  • Location

The material we have been researching and recording is all starting to link together and the best quotes from the clips are beginning to give a real sense of the range of stories emerging out of the process:

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Oral history editing

Back to Giddy this new year and the pupils got together to tell the rest of the group how the first memory day went and began to listen to and record a brief description of the clip as well as the time-codes of the best clips from the interviews they recorded. 

It was useful for the pupils to listen back to their interviews and give themselves some critical feedback:

Were they demonstrating the 'active listening' Rose talked about in the Oral History training?

Did they keep quiet enough - or find they laughed and hmmmed too much when the interviewee was talking? 

Could they have intervened/interrupted more when the interviewee was going off topic?

Did they notice things they missed or could have picked up and asked them to elaborate?

Are they drawing out interesting stories? 

Are they asking the right kind of questions to get the right kind of 'giddy' answers?

The pupils all did a fantastic job doing the interviews. It's not an easy thing to do at all. I think the pupils learnt a lot from listening back and I'm sure they next time they'll do an even better job.

What's most important is that they all can't wait to do it again!