WNR.sg - Sharing Memories of the Family Lives : The Power of the Personal


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Sharing Memories of the Family Lives : The Power of the Personal

By Ms Sarah Finney
Research Communications Officer from School of Sociology and Social Policy
University of Leeds

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  • From the definitions get a real sense that it is two-way process and that it is not a one way stream of information – reciprocal.
  • WNR.sg - Sharing Memories of the Family Lives : The Power of the Personal

    1. 1. Sharing Memories of Family Lives: The power of the personal Ms Sarah Finney Research Communications Officer University of Leeds When Nations Remember Singapore 12th October 2010
    2. 2. o Timescapes background o Public engagement o Turning points exhibition o Personal accounts / narratives o Public generated narrative (limitations & positives) Contents
    3. 3. The Timescapes Initiative o Timescapes is an ESRC funded project : the first major qualitative longitudinal project to be funded within the UK o Uses the notion of ‘walking alongside’ people to gain an insight into the dynamics of personal and family relationships and how they change over time o Comprises 7 empirical projects and 3 strands o User engagement strand - engage number of users in our work and this work encompasses the BBC memory project and Family Lives and Turning Points exhibition
    4. 4. Public Engagement What is public engagement? o Fluid and elusive term – has recently moved away from the terminology of ‘public understanding ‘ of science o ‘’Public engagement describes the myriad ways in which the activity and benefits ………can be shared with the public. Engagement is by definition a two way process involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit.’’ (NCCPE) [in this instance would be research as apposed to higher education] o “ ….an umbrella term for any activity that engages with research, from science communication in science centres or festivals,……to public dialogue. Any good engagement activity should involve two-way aspects of listening and interaction’’ (RCUK)
    5. 5. Why Engage? o For society to share in the benefits of that research o Increasing awareness of the value of research o Enhance the quality of research by listening to and taking on board the public’s reaction to the research, research will therefore be better informed o Publicity and to raise the profile of the research o Opportunity to gather more data
    6. 6. Family Lives and Turning Points Exhibition o Used the exhibition as an opportunity to gather more research data o Exhibition was in collaboration with BBC Memoryshare, took place in March and May 2010 o Exhibition took place in London and Leeds o Featured photographs and stories submitted by the general public – accounts depict key turning points in people’s lives o Collection of accounts will form an important part of the Timescapes digital archive
    7. 7. Engagement initiatives o Turning points photography competition o Photograph entries, all with accompanying narratives o ‘Share Your Memories’ initiative o Visited a school and day care centre for older people Publicity o Radio stations – local & national o Press release o Flyers – distribution lists o Media screen in millennium square o Local community groups
    8. 8. Exhibition configuration oPhotographs oTalking Memories film oNarrative Wall oOther components oPhoto chandeliers oPostcard shrine
    9. 9. Postcard Shrine
    10. 10. Photo Chandelier
    11. 11. Narrative Wall Talking Memories Film Link
    12. 12. The opening event ‘’I went to the exhibition yesterday and I can't tell you how thrilled I was. It was excellent. You exceeded all my expectations. Lis and I have been inspired by the piece by the chap with depression (recognising some of the same history!) and will begin to write again. I just loved the word art version of our writing…. There were lots of people looking at the exhibition and I chatted for a while with one of them about my Mam's photo and that turning point in my life. So well done … for enriching our lives and I hope we can continue to be involved in any way you think appropriate. In friendship, Phil.’’ [email from Phillipa O’Hare].
    13. 13. Creating your own Memory Project o Be Innovative o Be Brave o Be Inclusive o Be Brash
    14. 14. The Power of Personal accounts ‘’ ….the memories of the past are a constant play, flashing beneath this still surface in a still lake’’ (Rosen in Sheridan) o Incredibly distinctive in its power to capture the past and bring it to the present in a tangible and insightful way o Snapshot of a society’s life history o Narratives –oral & life history
    15. 15. Public Narrative Model
    16. 16. Public generated narrative – where does it sit? o Limited literature in this area – closest piece of work ‘’Mass Observation’’ project o Representative? (Sheridan & Irwin) o Shifting paradigms (Znaniecki, Rosen & Plummer) o Narrative ambiguity o The ‘self-selected’ sample
    17. 17. Public Narrative – The nation’s memories o No power dynamics o Sense of freedom and empowerment o Researching the un-researched o Supplemented by research-generated data o Stories represent ‘the public’ o Public narrative – sits between action research and public engagement
    18. 18. Thank you for your attention Sarah Finney Research Communications Officer Email: S.J.Finney@leeds.ac.uk Web: www.timescapes.leeds.ac.uk