Sunday, March 14, 2010

Latest and greatest

I’m trying to get my head around a project that only properly gets going next term. It’s tough putting something intellectually together now when the practical side of things only kicks in later on. At least though, my work with Hospice is related in that my documentary and my participatory project will be similar. Recording for one might yield well for the other. So the latest is promising. On Thursday morning and afternoon I was out with Edith, a Hospice professional nurse, who cares for adult patients.

One man who I met, named Michael, has had a leg amputated as cancer took hold of his lower right leg. Having cut where it was infected, he is now healthy and happy and was willing to share his story. At the moment a lot of patients of Hospice that I interview are telling me the basics about Hospice changing their lives. It is hard, especially in their mother tongue, to have deeper level conversations about life and also because I do not know them and this shouldn’t be expected. However, some of their different stories and views on society and the youth make for very different and interesting listening.

Relating to my aims for the Participatory project, I am still hoping for more sound that breaks that emotional barrier; people talking about society, tips, wisdom. I solemnly believe that the elderly are too often forgotten in our society while they just sit up on their stoep, waiting out their days, not being heard, and in a society as infected as ours, they have a lot to offer. People don’t talk about the good old days for nothing – they seem to always be the good old days because they were simpler, more community driven, happier times. Perhaps I can pursue the notion of ‘the good old days’ in relation to ‘these days’ in a narrative for this project. I feel more comfortable within Hospice, and hope that the next few weeks knowing and talking to people will bring positive, alternative, and unheard ‘media’.

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