Friday, July 9, 2010

Beginning the Curriculum

10 Lessons
2 or 3 Hours each
Media Production is integrated with each lesson

This curriculum is being created in order to be implemented as part of the Re-Mapping Our (his)Stories Project. The curriculum is a crash course in media production and media literacy that uses community histories as a tool for creativity and content. Ultimately, those who participate in this curriculum will gain the skills to create a media history as well as the tools to analyze their positions in the world and ideally this will serve as a space to allow youth to empower themselves through their place within (his)story.

The lessons are being created for different age ranges, some specified, some not, anyone wishing to utilize this curriculum should pay attention to the specific needs present within their space and target the activities to fit the group.


Introduction
Community
History
Your (his)Story
Recreating
Keepers of History
Creation
Production
Presentation
Installation



I would like to start implementing and actually using this curriculum, if anyone knows of groups who would be interested in this sort of on going project they should contact me at hhconnects@gmail.com

(his)story

The L Word, Season 2, Episode 3-
(This is an extreamly brief background) For weeks now Jenny and Shane’s roommate, Mark, has been secretly recording the girls every move via hidden video camera (in the living room, kitchen, bedrooms) under the guise of “making a documentary” he has been collecting footage (While attempting to receive funding from a sleazy porn company). Jenny accidentally discovers the tapes one day and confronts Mark:

Jenny: “Do you have any sisters?”

Mark: “Yes, I have 2 younger sisters…”

Jenny: “I want you to ask them a question, and the most important thing is that you really listen to their answers, I want you to ask them about the very first time they were intruded upon by some man or a boy-.”

Mark: “What makes you think that my sisters have been intruded upon?”

Jenny: “Because there isn’t a single girl or woman in this world who hasn’t been intruded upon, and sometimes its relatively benign and sometimes its so fucking painful that you have no idea what this feels like.”



“Im going to decide when you can get those rapey cameras down, now get the fuck outta my room”


My relationship to Jenny on the L word is strenuous at best and yet there are times in which I can’t ignore her. The crudeness of the statement that there isn’t a single woman or girl in this world who has not been intruded upon by a man was strangely validating to me when I first heard it at maybe 17 years old, freshly out of the closet I spend a summer watching the L word with my girlfriend. Watching the same clip now 4 years later I am concerned with the lack of nuance in that statement and yet I feel part of me slipping away even as I write the former statement.

I do believe that there are power structures that function off of our socially constructed but mentally ingrained capitalistic society that emphasizes competition for “scarce” resources which creates the necessity of in-equality a battle which has been dominated by the straight, white, rich able-bodied, gender conforming etc. etc. etc. male.

(his)story

It is no wonder that in a world such as this the male takes a dominating position in history that ignores the roles of those who are not the straight, rich, WASP, male; specifically, within this country. This dominance thusly solidifies the role and the gaze of the male for centuries so long as it continues to be taught.

What is changed when a man is in control of the story, how does that lens modify/ignore the lives of those who are not male?

At a crossroads to understanding how to change the course of history for future generations it is necessary to learn history, real history, her-story, (his)story, my-story, your-story because together these narratives can show us errors and unite us as we fight the powers that create inequity.

Crucial to this project is my belief that through reclamation of histories communities can find space to strengthen, empower themselves and take ownership over the future. While this is not a systematic change it is my belief that gradually if people are able to re-frame the way that they see history it will change what is taught, thus creating greater systematic awareness and ability to fight the system.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Re-Mapping Our (his)Stories

Re-Mapping Our (his)Stories is a collection of stories, a preservation of lives and a reconstruction of histories. Untold stories posses the power to analyze, restructure and overthrow the systems that hold us captive. Communities must unite around stories of common history to seek the roots of oppression and fight the systems that hide those stories in the first place. Re-Mapping Our (his)Stories is a multi-media exploration of history, her-story, my-story, and your-story.

This project is being created as part of my Division III Project (similar to a senior thesis) at Hampshire College. The project consists of the creation and implementation of curriculum with youth that invites youth to re-create their own histories in the form of a 'media history' which is a hybrid of an oral history and a video project.

Ultimately these projects as well as my own 'media histories' will be showcased in an interactive historical time line as well as online which will re-map how histories are organized and presented. I believe that if we re-frame how histories are created and presented it can bring attention to the intersections and relationships between different histories.

This blog will serve as a forum for updating people on the status of the project throughout the next year.