Introducing the co-researcher film series
During the last year of Connecting through Culture there have been many discussions with and between co-researchers on personal creative passions, things that people would like to try, things that people would like to say, and participation through a wide variety of platforms and media – online and offline. As part of the lifecourse work which is intrinsic to this project, members of the research team have also thought about their own histories, passions, skills. Mine happens to be low-resource filmmaking. And so, an idea emerged organically through conversations – why not support the creation of mini-films by co-researchers.
But, little did we know at that stage, that was just the start of a much longer story – over the course of several months this project grew and grew, and then the University’s public engagement and Age UK funded workshops and a screening at the Watershed. It was such a great event – co-researchers, friends and family – 14 impassioned films about hopes for the future, about ageism, about self-expression and some for sheer fun. In each film the personality and passions of individuals shone out. But, as a set, the films are even more powerful; they embody the extraordinary creativity, diversity and enthusiasm of this wonderful group of people, disavowing those negative attitudes about older people as being slow to learn new things or harking back to the past.
The initial group of co-researchers involved chose a fitting title: ‘Rebellious Voices’. Plenty of outrageous behaviour and fun was had making and sharing these films and the screening was a proud moment; for me about our collective achievement, and co-researchers have talked about this as an empowering and celebratory experience.