This week, we are focused on working with audio. We are editing our audio clips based on our paper cut that we workshopped with Alexi. We have also started creating a community power map and our final presentation. For our audio, we each have slightly different methods and modes of editing, and will each be crafting a clip that reflects the content of our individual interviews. We wanted to use this reflection to briefly outline each of our audio clips, and then explain our ideas about our community power map.
For Erik’s final clip, he wants to tell the story of my interviewee through the use of a pieced together storyline of his subject’s life’s work. First, Erik will use the interviewee’s childhood to explain how he was tied to the Navy shipyard and why working at Greenaction means so much to him. His connection to the community is told through his knowledge of shipyard workers and how he had the fortitude to realize the systemic flaws placed on him. One of the challenges Erik is running into is trying to make a seamless transition between different parts of the life story. Finding the proper transitions is what will make the audio story flow throughout the five minutes.
Claire is hoping to achieve more of a podcast-style piece. The idea behind the podcast style will mean that she will incorporate ambient sounds, music, and even splice in her own voice for clarity. She really wants to bring her narrative to life using the tools the team has available. One of the main challenges will be finding sounds, and creating a piece that sounds how she wants it to. It could take lots of time, which will be another challenge. Her goal is to send her draft to Alexi over break.
Jim added to his original papercut to include more of his interviewee’s upbringing and life before homelessness. Prior to this addition, the paper cut focused more on his current life and the issues he is fighting against and worried about. By incorporating his upbringing and early life, this better allows the listener to connect with the interviewee rather than just showcasing another case of gentrification. This addition will add a few more minutes to the overall audio but will present a fuller picture of another human being’s life and story.
Community Power map
The Community Power Map is an idea based on the Narratives of Resistance map that AEMP has already incorporated into their website and project. For our map, we want to achieve a few goals: explain the history and significance of AEMP and eviction/black exodus in the Bay Area, give a nuanced view of individual narratives, and visually tie the narratives to a map. To do this, we will be using the software Prezi, which is a simple “moving presentation” tool. We will start with a background map of San Francisco, and place each of our narrative audio clips (and pictures!) at the location that they are referencing. The software “zooms in” to the area and plays the audio clips, if you click on them. We want to present this map to AEMP as one of our deliverables, as well as a possible addition to their website.
Thoughts on Project
Transcription and audio editing was a separate individualistic contributor type of task and was easy to coordinate in terms of delivering a product but hard to coordinate consistency in perspectives, styles, and methods. Due to the volume of audio that required transcription and the time intensity, it was more achievable to divide and conquer different interviews. However, had the team took the approach of peer-editing each other's audio files or simply transcribed simultaneously together, we could have achieved a more cohesive and consistent product. However, the trade off there would be a reduction in diversity of style and approaches.
One key takeaway we all shared as a team is the power of the transcriber and editor to shape other people's narratives. When going through the editing process, it sometimes felt questionable to cut sentences or thoughts just to fit them into other parts for a cohesive narrative. Although the interviewees may have had the thoughts separately, would it be ok for us to morph and interpret it from our perspectives without running it by them first?
Lastly, issues of sustainability and equity are intertwined throughout our interviews. Whether it be the fairness of toxic exposure in shipyards or the displacement of formerly homeless veterans, these individuals have been forced to make a choice between poor options. One way to help combat and bring awareness to these issues is through sharing their stories through interviews so that others may learn from them, prevent repeat incidences, and stand by them for their causes.