Looking forward to presenting a reading and poetry film Paper River, Knotted River at MIX 2019 next Tuesday and hearing the great poetry film panel speakers – especially keynote Thomas Zandegiacomo del Bel. It will also be screened in the selected British films throughout the event.
Tree – Discovering Identity Through the Geopoetics of Ancestral Place
I have been researching my family history for the last twenty-five years, whilst developing its current digital form since 2014. Paper River, Knotted River is a chapter including research, field notes, poetry and poetry film from Tree, a geopoetic and mythopoetic haibun ‘novel’ centred on different aspects of my family’s connection to the land and place through time. It is divided into time periods and different countries. Each film has a commissioned composer chosen especially for that subject. In this case, the evocative soundscape is by Jeffrey Boehm.
In terms of experiential storytelling, researching family history is not only about discovering unknown facts but place itself; to actually visit sites, and touch and experience them; in my case writing, photographing, sketching and filming. When I trained as a (paid!) arts journalist I would select, photograph and write about artists in their own environment. Also, in this particular chapter I have the chance to bring the personal side of ‘public’ history to the fore; showing how human characteristics and circumstance, (often unknown to historians) lie behind historical facts.