Home Movies is an audio/visual story-gathering and story-telling installation for communities eager to bridge present generations with their past and rekindling a sense of place inclusive of cultural origins.
My family arrived in Sydney on board the USAT General Haan in October 1949 docking at Pyrmont. Leaving a war-ravaged Europe they brought few belongings. Among their meager possessions were photographs. Still cherished to this day, these photographs are a visual link to people long gone, and yet they still tell stories to new generations of our family and former homelands.
There are hundreds of thousands such stories to be found in family archives, from photographs to film reels, slides, videos and more recently smartphones and other devices. I am proposing to work with participating communities where the bridge between past and presentation generations may have fragmented, where our own migration, and often refugee stories, have been neglected.
Home Movies is an audio/visual story-gathering and story-telling projected sound and video installation that takes place within the communities these stories originate.
Through a community engagement process that may entail social media call-outs and/or a Home Movies tea and cake stall at local markets, participants are invited to share audio/visual family archives. With their approval participants are interviewed on camera documenting their thoughts and memories of select materials. A video portrait of each participant is also taken.
Family audio and visual archives – photos, slides, video, film, and tapes – are sensitively collated alongside interviews into meditative small to large scale works that audiences may wander through – a neighbourly screening across house-fronts, apartment blocks, open-spaces.
Home Movies #1 (aka The Heros of Barry Road) was produced with the support of the Barry Road Community Activity Centre and the Community Cultural Development Department, City of Whittlesea, Victoria, Australia.