Overall I think this module went well, though I think my outcome could’ve been much better had I had more time to develop it further. I began this project by participating in the weekly tasks and researching and responding to the guest speakers whilst in class. I enjoyed the enrichment of the weekly sessions, having a varied amount of things to watch and several people came it to talk. I particularly enjoyed hearing about Brian Palmer’s latest project as this work explores themes of unknown family.
Through the weekly tasks, I realised that my Grandad’s Polish family was the story I needed to portray so I began by trying to research who his family are. I found documents of my Grandad’s from WWII, which I had never seen before. However, I could find nothing more of his family than the spellings of his parents names: Szymon & Maryia. Unfortunately, none of the Polish records are available online, so it would be extremely difficult to find his family in such a short time frame. I then realised my issue was not in finding out who they are particularly, but instead not knowing who they are. It’s an issue of self identity and I wanted to get others in the same situation to participate. I knew that it would be difficult to find people in the same situation as me, so I decided to make something more open. I became interested in the fact of knowing someone we’ve never met. We know them through images and by the third-hand knowledge we have of them. I created the ‘Unknown Family’ project and asked people to submit photos of people they never met along with a short description detailing how they are related and one thing they know about them. Unfortunately, the project has not really had many people involved with it, but I have not been promoting it as I should. Instead of promoting the ‘Unknown Family’ project, I decided to document my knowledge of my Grandad’s life before coming to England. It was a time I never experienced and was never related to me by my Grandad himself, only through others. Therefore, I decided to ask the people who initially told me these stories to sit down and tell them again. These people are: my Grandma, my Dad and my Uncle (my Mum’s brother). I presented these audio recordings alongside images of my Grandad and his family within a blog post. I did want to create a video, however I didn’t have photos to illustrate certain parts of the stories. I feel that the piece allows one to experience ‘A life in a Day’
I like this piece, though I feel like I need to craft it into something better, though images with audio may work well in an exhibition space, it doesn’t work quite so well online. As I said previously, I would’ve liked to have spent more time on it, in order to take it further. I’d probably gather more stories from people, though I have recorded all I currently know of my Grandad’s family. I see this story as my final Phonar piece, and the ‘Unknown Family’ as a continuation of that. I think I did try to do too much, rather than keep it simple by sticking with just the story. Having said this, i think the piece works well and I am happy with how it turned out.