Common key words: war run away prison money walk university pressure shoot government refugee passport kill papers documents survived help job work understand country afraid scare understand place went back flat successful happy mother father family brother sons daughter fear prison accommodation hotel room scared interpreter husband wife country help english job flee detention asylum life college memories integrated forget pregnant border genocide religion escape agent airport illegal rape hide money belong foreigner services lost after you university shoot militia extremist speak hospital travel frighten live children settle pressure
This project is part of my on-going practice-based research in the specific area of electronic poetry and literature. With this particular piece I am exploring oral histories through the use of technology as a participatory and inviting medium to perform and share stories.
It is an interactive piece, which consists of a series of extracts from interviews of refugees living in London and the connection between them. They are compiled in a database and linked by common key words. To represent the fractured realities and the formations of connected memories, the viewers need to interact with the piece by clicking on the coloured activated ‘common keywords’ in order to generate extracts of narrations from the different participating refugees. The installation includes a microphone to invite the viewers to read aloud and share with other viewers the experience of performing the work through their reading.
As the reader explores and experiences the work by connecting the extracts from the narratives appearing in the screen, the fortuitous position of extracts produces new relationships, and in doing so, an on-going process of meanings, connections and narratives; shifting from the semantic linguistic meaning to the visual, from the literal, the legible, the transparent to the abstract memory; and simultaneously creating a poetic space of readable and visual textualities.
As with the oral storytelling tradition, in this work, the share of experiences happens at that moment in time. There is no recording facility; the text is in constant flux of becoming.
Technical Work developed by José Carlos Silvestre. Project developed using open source Processing. Interactive work from ELMCIP- Anthology of European Electronic Literature: anthology.elmcip.net/works/connected-memories.html Presentation of Connected Memories in Bergen: video by Martin Arvebro: vimeo.com/7694524
Find article on From the Page to the Screen to Augmented Reality: New Modes of Language-Driven Technology-Mediated Research in Journal of Writing in Creative Practice. Link to Roundtable discussion at Kingston University 2010, From the Page to the Screen to Augmented Reality: New Modes of Language-Driven Technology-Mediated Research.
Acknowledgements: Dr. Kamal Ahmed, Faculty of Computing, Information Systems and Mathematics, Kingston University, London, UK Abdul Malik, Nihaya Sinaan, Gladys and Gloria, Refuge Community Outreach Project, Peckham London, UK
- María Mencía is a media artist/e-poet, researcher and Course Leader of the BA in Media and Communication in the School of Arts, Culture and Communication, Kingston School of Art Faculty at Kingston University (London, UK). mariamencia.com