Field Diary no. 1: “Make the film you need to make”

Heuristic
ˌhjʊ(ə)ˈrɪstɪk/
adjective
 
     enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves
“a ‘hands-on’ or interactive heuristic approach to learning”
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Hi! That’s me peeking through my immaculately created ‘symbolic camera’. “What’s this all about?” I hear you scream with anticipation… Well, I’ve embarked on a project of self-discovery. Yes. Groundbreaking stuff. In less grandiose terms, I am a student of Social Anthropology at the University of Kent and this blog is part of my ‘SE555: Project in Visual Anthropology’ module. The aim? Create a 10-12 minute documentary; or as our seminar leader said: “Make the film you need to make”.
I’ll take a few steps back. We were asked to create cameras that symbolised ourselves and our projects. This was before I had completely decided what I wanted to do, so I went with tradition. An old-style camera made of card wrapped in traditional Icelandic wool, knitted by yours truly. So, I guess you could deduce that I wanted to stick to the basics, which is what I’ll try to do.
This is why I would call this project heuristic, and that’s why I named this blog ‘heuristicinme‘. Every week I take one tentative step towards learning what it is that I really want to film – or rather, what I need to film. Originally I felt this would involve a lot of intensity, traumatic topics and all that. How could a person with such a plethora of mental health problems make a film about anything other than trauma? I thought about sexism and sexual assaults, I thought about depression and suicide, and I thought about parenting and childhood trauma. Was my film really in there? The film I needed to make? No. Absolutely not.
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I needed a different angle (see what I did there). So I decided, what if I used this as an opportunity to heuristically learn about happiness? I could film the people that make me happy in places that make me happy. Now that’s the film I need.
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