I have been struggling to construct a pitch for my ‘Unknown Family’ project, and after listening other Phonar contributor’s pitches yesterday, I have realised why this is. I had been finding it difficult to create something that answers the task ‘A life in a day’, but after much consideration I have realised that I have missed a vital step from my project- documenting my Grandad’s life. I realise I havent given good explanation for why I have created the ‘Unknown Family’ project, so I shall explain below…
– My personal issue, or topic for this final Phonar task has always been the fact that I don’t know a quarter of my lineage- I have never met any of my Grandad’s family & have no knowledge of his Grandparents.
– I planned to find out more about my polish roots, however, I could not find anything about any of these relatives, so I had hit a dead end.
Still, my issue is the fact that I don‘t know a quarter of my family history. I only know these people I have never met by associating what I have been told about them with their image.
This is why I began Unknown Family- I wanted to highlight the fact that we only ‘know’ relatives we’ve never met through the attachment of third-hand knowledge to photographs. I wanted to get people to submit images of relatives they have never met along with
Having said this, there is still a question of what to create to specifically respond to the final task ‘A Life in A Day’. The answer seems obvious to me now. I plan to literally spend one day gaining second-hand knowledge from people that knew my Grandad in order to illustrate his life & family. I did know my Grandad, but he passed away when I was 12 years old and I had never spoken to him about:
1] Family in Poland
2] Life before he came to England.
What I do know about these two things I have learnt from documents, photographs, and what people have told me. I wish to record these people telling me about my Grandad’s life before he came to England, as they are my sources for information. I will put this information together with images of the documents and photographs, and create a piece from them, most likely in the form of a video.