Further Reflection on Assignment 5 with Added Book – My Mother’s Story

Following completion of my first run through of assignment 5 I put it up for comments in the IAP group. Most were positive however there were some suggestions:

  • “I found myself rather confused in the middle. This doesn’t reflect anyway on the presentation which I found very moving so maybe this isn’t the right place. However, what was lacking for me were dates…. Do the facts matter for it as a piece of art? They mattered to me because I felt the confusion distracted me away from the flow.”
    • Added dates (where I know them) to the images.  Sometimes these were inevitably my best estimate – partly because she gave different years for the same event on different retellings.
      • Comment back – “Completely different! For me, a hundred times better as it’s completely clear”
    • “I don’t know how you’re fixed for time, inclination etc but adding a book (as has been suggested) would, in my view, be a real complement to the work. There’s a benefit to doing this that hasn’t been mentioned … that of longevity. The work as it stands – ie in electronic format – wouldn’t necessarily survive as a family heirloom, (assuming you’d like it to be one) and whilst not guaranteed, a book might. Whether or not this extra step would translate into marks I’ve no idea … but it might in terms of presentation and show consideration of an audience beyond the academic?”
      • Made a book out of the video, with some extra images and a little more text culled from my mother’s recorded words. For some of the pages I changed the image as I have had yet another sort through her archives and bits and pieces and found a better image or a more interesting keepsake. I may well change these in the video. The book, at present remains in a pdf format so it can be seen online. If the OCA was taking non-digital items, I would make it up. I am considering whether to make it a hand produced copy, so only one (or a very limited-edition number) or made via blurb or similar so I can send copies to all my family.
    • “I guess my only niggle is that I really wanted to study the letters and forms to read the language, but they vanished too quickly! In an ideal world, if this could be some sort of slide show that the user could be in control of moving forward when ready, that would solve the problem.”
      • Agreed that this is an issue. It would be fixed in a slideshow – but difficult to do in a video without adding in long pauses. Hopefully  dealt with this by making a book where you can study the forms and letters for as long as you like.

Overall, the feedback was very helpful, both in terms of suggestions for taking the project forward and in improving my confidence about it. I remain concerned about the length of the video (and even more so of the book). It is impossible to tell the story without it being long – however the length does fall outside the project brief. There were some comments about the length  – “I certainly don’t think the video is too long, it held my attention throughout, and by the end I felt as though I had accompanied your mother on her journey.”

The book – in pdf format – so you have to imagine the pages side by side. The words on the left page and the matching picture on the right side. To see it in a larger format the pdf can be downloaded. This embedded pdf works on a desktop but does not work on tablets!

Cover for book
My Mother’s Story

For those who are using iPads, or want to download directly, here is a link

Cover of book:


Main Story:


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