Reflecting on the direction of the project so far and how well it is going, I feel I am at a critical point within the module to evaluate where I am at and how everything is going.
I have had a few highs and a few lows already on this module as a result of circumstances which I think are thus far important to the development of the project.
A few highs of the project have been researching and getting contacts, and then having them agree to work on a project with me. I also was really excited when I started getting some images through along with the story behind why they moved and their migration story. At this point I thought that the project was going to be really interesting because I was being granted access to someone else’s story and someone else’s life. It was really exciting to see how the story could come together and could be presented in a small chapter sized book and so a high was that I could begin to research and explore different ways of presenting a book and a story/narrative.
I was also really enjoying understanding what makes a narrative and how a project can be used in a participatory way to involve everyone in the collaboration of the ongoing project. The fact that the project was participatory was quite stressful at first because it means that there is no total control over the project and you are reliant on input from the participant and not your own steam. This made it quite hard for me to start with because I am so used to operating in my own way and ensuring that anything I produce is my own work. Relying on someone else was quite difficult for me but at the same time when it worked out it was a real high because it is making me feel like the project I am producing is worth something to someone and is actually making a difference in getting another voice heard. So I think this is definitely a positive of the project.
There have also been numerous lows to this project too, especially recently. Some of the lows I have had so far involve me really struggling with the narrative of the project because of the lack of images I have received. I am struggling with the fact that I have had little or no communication with my subject for a few weeks now, despite the fact that I have emailed and tried to engage with them.
This has made it harder for me to feel positive about the project because i haven’t been able to feel solid narrative developing, especially in regards to images and the way in which they portray the story I have written down. Not knowing if I am going to be able to get access to other images is also making the project harder because I am unsure on whether I can carry on the project successfully. I also feel that because of the lack of communication between my participant and me, this is hindering the project slightly because the whole idea of this project is for it to be participatory or collaborative but at times I do feel that it is a bit one sided. I am not sure what I can do about this because I do not want to be pressuring or forcing my subject into partaking in the project and revealing things they may not want to, but at the same time, some more open communication would be really appreciated because I can then feel like I am working more with them rather than making them feel potentially uncomfortable or less willing to partake because they feel pressured in some way by it.
So at the moment the lack of communication and slight withdrawal from the project is a bit of a low because I am struggling to progress with the project and put it together. It is making it harder for me to see how I can piece together a narrative when I don’t have much to piece the narrative together with. But at the same time I am positive that if I could, it would be a really great migration story to work on together and to be able to work on to the final stages. I think I would be a bit disappointed if I could not get this story to progress any further, and so I am aiming to try to contact my subject again by any means I can in order to see what is going on and where I can begin to actually work on the project. I think the key thing for the project now is hearing from my subject and understanding what is going on.
Reflecting on the project has helped me to see what the issues are and what the positives are. If I did not do this, I would be a bit stuck for as to how to progress on from here. Especially as I know that things can get a bit jumbled if I don’t evaluate them and begin to see where the problems are to work round them. It has helped me to evaluate where I need to be and what I need to do, so hopefully the next par too my project will be positive and I will be able to move on in a more positive direction that gives me some more highs rather than lows.