Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Role of the (movie) camera: truthful cinema?

A montage of sound and image - sound from CineMatic Orchestra and image from Dziga Vertov's 1929 film, an attempt to capture cinéma vérité.
"It is far from simple to show the truth, yet the truth is simple." Dziga Vertov
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvTF6B5XKxQ]
Am exploring the inter-web for the role and "eye" of (through? behind? with?) the camera through video and photography as a sideline to the project and our use of video scenario recordings. It has been a contested notion ever since film come into being!
Will explore more then synthesise later. :o)

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Transformative development


We had our third planning meeting yesterday which was really energising - what a talented bunch I'm working with. :o)
As part of our facilitation, we've begun using video scenarios to delve deeper into the elements discussed by the group with some promising outcomes. Using this approach seems to move people away from their recognized positions and experiences to a place where they are almost bodily present; experiencing the moment in the scenario itself. This seems to release them of their "duty", perhaps, to their everyday roles and baggage.
It certainly resulted in a very energized group discussion within which I felt I also experienced - and witnessed - yarning (see Bessarab & Ng'andu 2010). The conversation was like a dinner conversation, was how one participant put it.
With regard to the scenario itself, we opted to display "how not to do things", so in our next session we will focus on "how things could be done" to achieve better outcomes.
And on a reflective note, this image is one that sparked a mini epiphany for me, as following our last session, I've felt in a bit of a wallow - not sure why, but mentioned this to the team during our planning and was provided with the following advice:
"Revisit the haze and stay with the question."
Really, this is the essence of PAR in process! The image marks a turning point in my thinking about transformative processes which can enable real change and encourages - no, insists upon - an active and authentic partnership between service providers and the people they serve in our communities.
Now to hold this space and remain present with the group as they - we - continue to develop and explore.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

In reading mode . . .

It's tricky to post whilst caught in a heap of reading and process - it is a liminal place to be really! Until there's a "pit stop" or the journey reaches some sort of conclusion or pause, it's not always apparent to write one's thinking until one has thought it out some more :o)
So, here's what I'm reading / watching:
1. Bessarab & Ng'andu (2010) Yarning about yarning as a legitimate method in Indigenous research, International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, Vol 3, No 1, 37-50.
Why? The research team has been discussing the idea of yarning and whether or not it should be a specifically articulated practice engaged with in the Community Steering Group sessions. More and more yarning is seen as a legitimate and rigourous data gathering method and implies a connection between researcher and participants, where both acknowledge a transformation can occur in each other. In prticualr, and as I'm just reading now, Bessarab and Ng'andu discuss collaborative yarning, one of four forms of yarning a researcher should be cognisant of when undertaking research wth Indigenous peoples. As we conclude our reading of this text, the team will come together to share our reflections and see whether or not we move forward with this method in some way (of course, then discussing it with the group participants).
2. Brene Brown, The Power of Vulnerability (TEDx Houston June 2010).
Why? I'm exploring and reflecting on the role of researcher especially from a PAR perspective. The notion of engaging the whole self in the research is powerful for me and I expect to be transformed by this experience. I'm also highly aware of my white fella role and baggage I bring with me, at the same time, I must own this rather than dismiss it, as it informs who I am and how I be. Brown's talk lends some further words and thinking around this.
3. Closing the Gap Clearinghouse - Council of Australian Governments (COAG)
Why? Sifting through a range of published articles, reports and project websites that seek to address Indigenous disadvantage in Australia and include health and wellbeing in particular, provides me with the landscape in which our project operates (at least theoretically for the most part). Some articles I've sourced so far include:
There's more, but this is the stuff I'm most involved with right now. And, as Brene Brown says in the intro to her talk:
Lean into the discomfort of the work.
More reflections to follow!