research (test)

POWER. Research (2013-10-22 13:10)

After deciding on the idea that I was going to find famous quotes from history, film and TV I then decided on how I was going to present my power artefact. I was going to record myself writing the quotes on paper with no sound or backing track. This would make you focus on the words more instead of being distracted by anything else, giving the words a more powerful presence.

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I looked into whether this had been done in the past where I could get some more inspiration from and there were two occasions that stood out at me. The first is an artist called Gillian Wearing. By using photography she recorded the confessions of ordinary people, studying the differences between private and public life. An interesting approach to something that’s quite simplistic. By making the person write something about their private life on the paper they have openly shown their insecurities, opening them up to mocking or humiliation. By doing this it also give the subject a sense of power by being confident in what they have written and not shying away.

The other piece that stood out was Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues (1965). This is a music video to his song and while the song plays in the background he is standing showing cards with some of the lyrics on them. I believe that the lyrics that were written down were the most important ones that Bob Dylan wanted you to focus on the most.

Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues (1965)

When researching different quotes I decided to choose the most iconic ones which I knew and which held the most power in my eyes. From memory I wrote down seven which I thought were some of the most powerful lines in history and then searched the internet for the other two quotes. Here is a PDF of all of the quotes: Famous quotes from history, film and TV

Photos:
John-Paul Stonard. (2001). Gillian Wearing – Artist biography. Available:

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/gilli an-wearing-obe-2648

Gillian Wearing. (1992). I have been certified as mildly insane. Available: [6]http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/wear- ing-i-have-been-certi fied-as-mildly-insane-p78352

Gillian Wearing. (1992). I like to be in the country. Available: [7]http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/wear ing-i-like-to-be-in-the-country-p78349

Video:

Bob Dylan. (1965). Subterranean Homesick Blues. Available: [8]http://en.musicplayon.com/play?v=461198

6 weeks of Ukraine in 794 words

There’s a lot been going on since my last post. The most obvious is that the Euros have been and gone and Ukraine showed all the people that called us racists, including Mr Sol Campbell, that Ukraine wasn’t the place the media portrayed it as. The feedback was all positive. So take that BBC.

At the beginnng of June I started an internship with Ivanna Kurlak at AUGB (The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain). This internship was specifically set up so we could help with and develop AUGB’s social media, revamp the website & to gather feedback from our target audience. Since we started we have noticed a massive increase in the number of ‘young people’ going onto the Facebook page & the website. This is the exact thing that AUGB has been trying to do for a while & now that its spread its wings and flown onto the social media bandwagen! Along with the Facebook page, which in 6 weeks has got 156 ‘likes’, AUGB also has a Twitter account, and almost 60 people follow that. If you’re interested in Ukraine or Ukrainians in GB then follow us on Facebook & Twitter:

AUGB Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AUGB.SUB

AUGB Twitter: http://twitter.com/AUGBSUB

Moving on to the Ukrainian Language Bill that was passed in Ukraine’s Parliment. Bit of background on the bill: in areas of Ukraine where 10% of the population speak a different language that language (be it Russian, Yidish or anyother language) will be ‘the official second language’. This means that documents can be printed in that language, they’d have to use it in court, the schools would have to teach it etc.

The reason for the protests is that this language bill is basically pushing Ukraine back towards Russia. In the east of Ukraine, the majority of the people there speak Russian….therefore in those regions the official second language will be Russian..giving it equal status. A massive step in the wrong direction. I read a quote from somewhere, I’ve been trying to find the referenece but for the life of me I cannot find it. Anyway the quote is: “If you want to destroy a country you must destroy its language”. There’s another quote from Karl Marx, here’s the picture:

The translation is: “The person who doesn’t know the language of the country he is living in is either a guest, a hired labourer, or an invader.” …..even Karl Marx is on our side.

On July 11th we had a protest in London outside the Ukrainian Embassy. About 150 people turned up, including fellow Coventry University student Dean O’Brien. My parents were taking photos and this is a photo montage that I put together for the AUGB website:

To look at Dean’s photos, here’s the link: http://deanobrien.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/demonstration-outside-ukrainian-embassy-in-london-against-proposed-language-bill/

Mid June I went to The Frontline Club in London to watch a documentary film called “Ukraine: From Democracy to Chaos’. I was really looking forward to this, not only because it was a film about Ukraine by a non-Ukrainian but after the film there was a Q&A panel with the director. When it started, it seemed like it was going to be a really good watch but after about the first 30 seconds the sound stopped completely. Technical error. Then the sound did’t work at all. Absolute shambles. The premier of the film & the sound doesn’t work. To top it off the director didn’t have a back up DVD & seemed to be very unorganised. Eventually the director had to do the voice over live. At this point I was sitting next to Dean saying that if that was a presentation for University then we’d have automatically dropped 2 grades. The editting was shoddy, in some parts the clip was cut slightly too soon and the person’s sentence was cut short. Because the director filmed in Ukraine and filmed politicians in Ukraine (Yushchenko, Tymoshenko) they were talking Ukrainian so there were English subtitles. Well, I say there were English subtitles but some parts over ran the subtitles & some were so fast that I couldn’t read them. Rant over about technical errors. The documentary was strong at first and it was quite interesting but after it got half way it sort of turned into a campaige video for Tymoshenko, going on about how great she is etc which was disappointing because I thought it was going to be imparcial, like, bringing everyone’s thoughts together so that the audience could have their own opinion but that wasn’t the case.

For another person’s view about that night, here’s Dean’s blog url: http://deanobrien.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/the-frontline-club-ukraine-from-democracy-to-chaos/

I won’t be able to blog a lot during these next 4 weeks because I am at the Ukrainian Youth Association camp. The internet is alright but won’t be in the weeks to come. This post has been a bit of an explosion of information and ranting.

Euro 2012 & racism

Following the BBC 1 Panorama programme on racism in Poland and Ukraine that was on yesterday evening (May 28th at 8:30pm) I’ve decided that the topic of racism will be covered in todays blog post. I did watched the programme and the images that were shown were truly shocking but Panorama focused on league cup matches and didn’t have ANY footage from international matches. This isn’t me saying that in league matches racism is ok or that in international matches you don’t see any racism because racism is NEVER ok, but I believe Panorama didn’t research the racism issue as best as they could. As I said, Panorama didn’t go to ANY international matches….bad move BBC seen as though the Euro competition is an INTERNATIONAL EVENT. Ukraine’s international matches that I have been to I have NEVER heard any racial comments from any of the fans. I have only been to a handful of matches but friends of mine have been to many more, some in Ukraine and in other countries such as France and they have NEVER heard any racist comments from anyone. This doesn’t mean that those racist fans won’t be at the games or on the streets during other games.

The Panorama programme has shaken people…which is the whole purpose of Panorama…to show shocking images, put the presenter in the middle of it all, secret filmings and, what looks like, clever editing. Now, I’m not saying that the programme was complete shit because there is truth within the programme. Racism is an issue in every country. No one can deny that. This year in England we had racial incidents happen on the pitch from Luis Suarez and, England captain, John Terry (who was stripped of his England captaincy pending his trial which is happening after the Euros).

The programme was rather shocking to watch, not just see the hooligans shouting and “nazi saluting” but it was interesting to see the police interaction and involvement in the racial incidence was minimal. This didn’t just show Ukrainians as racist but it also showed our police force to be lazy and not bothered. “The images screened on the Panorama programme do not represent the behaviour or mindset of the vast majority of Ukrainian people, who are both tolerant and hospitable, and are looking forward to welcoming guests from all over the world for Euro 2012.”AUGB website

There are some people that hang off Panoramas every word and would’ve seen the programme on Monday and thought “I AM NEVER SETTING FOOT IN POLAND OR UKRAINE BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL RACIST” instead of doing their own research as well….in fact we Ukrainians aren’t all racists, Panorama showed the actions and words of a small group of people. Its this small group of people that have made the headlines say things like:

“Euro 2012 turning into PR disaster for Ukraine as racism fears scare off fans” – The Guardian

“Nazi mob lies in wait for England fans: Riot police march into battle against thugs on Euro 2012 terraces – but turn a blind eye to racist chants and violence” – DailyMail

“You could end up coming back in a coffin’: Sol Campbell warns England fans to stay away from Euro 2012” – DailyMail

“PFA’s chief backs Sol Campbell over fears of racist violence in Ukraine during Euro 2012” – The Independent

Here are the links I used:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2150951/Euro-2012-racism-Sol-Campbell-warns-England-fans-stay-away-BBCs-Panorama.html?ITO=1490

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/may/28/euro-2012-ukraine-sol-campbell?newsfeed=true

http://www.augb.co.uk/news-page.php?id=890

Hopefully you don’t think that Ukrainians are racists just by the words and actions of small group of people. Those that are traveling to Ukraine or Poland for the Euros I hope you have a brilliant time and get back safely.

Really Warner Bros.?

This really isn’t going to be a long post. There are so many more important things I could be posting about Ukraine right now and I will be in the next few days. Now that I’ve finished my last assignment I am free to do more posts about Ukraine. The reason for this less important post is that a friend told me that a horror film about Chornobyl is coming out soon.

Ok, so Warner Bros. really want to make money out of a terrible nuclear disaster that happened about 25 years ago. I thought that it couldn’t be that bad….I could not be more wrong. I visited the website. http://chernobyldiaries.warnerbros.com/index.html
First of all, they got the spelling of Chornobyl wrong. In Ukrainian it is spelt чорнобиль so WHY is it spelt Chernobyl Diaries and not Chornobyl Diaries? WHY ‘er’ instead of ‘or’. Sounds like a stupid thing to complain about. If the script writers/producers actually did detailed background research then they’d know that.

I watched some of the trailers and basically the script is exactly the same as The Blair Witch Project but this time you can see the ‘thing’ that is taking/killing the “innocent” victims. This film looks like its doing the whole ‘handheld camera’ thing which quite a few recent films have done e.g. Cloverfield (which, in my eyes, was pretty shit).

The Huffington Post said: “Chernobyl Diaries, a horror movie about six teenaged “extreme tourists” who visit the radioactive hotspot on vacation, only to discover that the place is populated by mutant zombies. Pre-release comment ranges from “Awesome!” and “I can’t wait” to “video poop” and “teen-flick nonsense.” – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glen-browder/george-wallace-and-martin_3_b_1437362.html

It seems, from watching the trailers, that this film will be the typical American traveler horror film filled with American actors that can barely act and a man that has a weird “Ukrainian” accent. They go to Chornobyl, it gets dark, the car won’t start. Oh no. Instead of staying together they split up into groups and instead of staying in the car with the doors locked they just simply have to go and explore. People go missing from the group, oh no, who could possibly be doing this, oh look its zombie Ukrainians. I will be going to see this film when it comes out so I can either say “yes, I was completely right to take the piss” or “no, it was actually decent” (doubt I’ll be saying that one). But I will go and see it and review it. I guess I’m going into it with a closed mind but I will be fair.

For any of those who are interested about чорнобиль here is a link to some really good photos that were taken by Zoltan Balogh http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/picturegalleries/8776991/Photographs-of-Chernobyl-and-the-ghost-town-of-Pripyat-by-Zoltan-Balogh.html
Some really nice shots there, these are probably some of the best photos I’ve seen that have been taken in Prypyat.

As I said at the beginning, I will be doing more posts in a few days but in the mean time I hope this post wasn’t too much of a rant, sorry if it was, I promise the next one will actually be more about important issues like the punch up in parliament….you didn’t know? check out the video: Ukrainian MP Brawl
….and how this effects the country and the already tarnished image it has.

Assessment Post 4 – Evaluation

This module has been not only interesting and challenging at times but it has also been one of my favourite modules in this first year. The best part of this module had to be the Recycled Media assignment we had to do. I literally spent about six hour researching suspicious journalist’s deaths in Eastern Europe, especially Ukraine. I was able to do the recycled media with relative ease because I already knew so much about Ukraine’s not so brilliant past….and not so brilliant present either. The most difficult task had to be the retelling of a fairytale/myth. To be fair, I made it difficult for myself because I said that I didn’t want to do something that everyone knew so I chose the Myth of Narcissus. Great! I’d chosen something not many people had heard of BUT that was were my creative side of my brain just went to sleep.

 

The TV studio part of this module was brilliant and I liked that I got to work with different people and got to know them a bit better. The thing I disliked the most about the Broadcasting Element was certain people in my group that didn’t turn up, they knew exactly when we were meeting and yet they still didn’t turn up and most of the time they didn’t even contact one of us, or post on our Facebook group, that they weren’t going to be in. Plain rude. There wasn’t a lot we could do about it, we did tell Karen but I’m not sure what was done next about it. Apart from that the live recording went really well. When we received feedback from lecturers they said that the sound was too loud….I don’t understand how it was so loud when I had been struggling to hear the two presenters the whole time we were practising. They also commented on the programme being a bit too ‘presenter heavy’ which I believe is a fair comment because it was but there was a reason for that. We didn’t want to just get videos and other material off the internet and have that take over the programme. Even though it was presenter heavy I still think this worked well.

 

Having Easter right towards the end of the module was really off putting because we’d be close to perfect before the holidays and then afterwards I think that’s when the problems in the group started to escalate because we had just that 1 week to remember everything from before Easter and get it perfect. But everyone powered through and it was all fine in the end.

 

All in all, a brilliant module!

 

 

Assessment Post 3 – Professional Development

At the beginning of this part of the module I was worried about what role I could actual do in the team that I wouldn’t mess up somehow (I’m quite a negative person really). I started thinking about being on camera but I soon found myself quite fond of the sound mixer, partly because its difficult to get wrong and partly because it’s an interesting piece of equipment.

During the first few weeks I was very quiet and this was because I’m naturally quiet with people I don’t generally know and most of the people that were in Spontaneity I hadn’t worked with before, apart from Shelley. But as the weeks went on I began to stop being so quiet and even started to put forward ideas, most were discarded but some were definite maybes. I was finally being myself in this group which was good, it gave me confidence in my work and I didn’t make as many mistakes as I would normally. The one thing I am amazed about myself from this module is that I am normally quite hot-headed and even though I got so annoyed at people not turning up to our practises I didn’t once loose my temper and was able to calm myself down. It must be something to do with this module.

Being in charge of the sound I had my fair share of problems. Our team, half the people didn’t show up most of the time so I had no choice but to use a microphone that was on a stand which was on the floor. This was alright, not the best, when the presenters were sitting down but when they were doing their intro it was particularly quiet. There was nothing I could do really, everything was on as high as I could get it and it was still quiet so the presenters had to speak louder…which they didn’t always do. The live recording was the only real time the whole group had come together so there wasn’t any time for me to play around with the sound then, the presenters just had to do their best.

I think the most important thing I’ve learnt from being with this groups is which people are the hard workers & I wouldn’t mind working with them again.

Assessment Post 2 – Media Forms

With this part of the 161 module we had to create a website with extra content and use social networking as part of the audience participation. We did start a Twitter account, although we don’t have any followers and we also filmed a behind the scenes video and an outtakes video.

During the live recording of our TV programme we were supposed to try and get some audience participation but we didn’t & I have no idea why…I’m not even sure who’s job that was.

On my website I have Twitter symbols which will link you to our Twitter account as well as a YouTube symbol which will take you to our YouTube account.

To increase our audience participation we need to do a number of different thing.

1) During the live recordings we need to show our Twitter name on the bottom left or right hand corner – This way if a viewer has a question they’d like to ask our guest they can instantly Tweet us.

2) During a live recording we can also tell our viewers what hashtag to use if they want to Tweet us a question. For example, our programme was about flash mobs so if someone had a question about flash mobs for our guest the hashtag would be #flashmobs. This allows the crew member in charge of social networking to find the questions easily because all they have to do is search #flashmobs on Twitter.

3) We could also make Twitter accounts for the two presenters. This would be separate from their personal accounts. It would give the audience a chance to engage with the presenters on a one-to-one level.

Aside from Twitter there are many other things that we could potentially do to boost out audience participation and hits. One thing on YouTube that I follow quite religiously are vloggers. Vloggers make a living by making videos and posting them on YouTube. Two classic examples would be Jenna Marbles and Grace Helbig. Videos on YouTube get more hits than a pre-watershed TV programme could ever dream of! So, an idea that I’ve had is that the presenters of Spontaneity Net TV could upload video diaries every so often to the Spontaneity YouTube channel and this will allow the audience to also comment on those videos and therefore interact more with the programme.