LONELINESS AND TECHNOLOGY IN LATER LIFE
EXPLORED THROUGH COLLABORATIVE FILMMAKING
INTRODUCTION TO THE PROJECT & THE COLLABORATION
I'm currently studying an MRes at LJMU. My MRes practice-led research project is focused on the relationship between loneliness and technology in later life and as my background is in (documentary) filmmaking, the outcome of my research will not only be a theoretical thesis but also a co-produced film.
Studies performed on the subject often conclude that technologies either help lonely people or that those can deepen the feelings of loneliness. The objective is to address and overcome this black and white picture. Dwelling in the grey zone between art, humanities and social sciences it strives to achieve a deeper understanding of the phenomenon by offering a different – and in many ways unpredictable – perspective by using the artistic approach. And ts main contribution lies in giving voice to the participants to express their opinions and experience on the subject matter.
First, series of workshops will be facilitated with a group of six to ten people over 65 years old whom will be invited to the project through posters placed in various places such as art galleries, hospitals and community centres. During the workshops, the subject will be further discussed, same as the filmmaking process and how it is possible to express emotions through the medium of film. These workshops will take place in April/May 2018.
When the workshops are over, there comes the actual filmmaking. Each participant will spend one day with myself and the camera operator and we will film her or his chapter exactly as they would like us to do it. The assignment would be as easy as what’s your visualization or message about loneliness. Each chapter will be around 2-3 minutes long, directed by the participant, I’ll be the second/assistant director and for some chapter, the camera operator as well, for some of them will be the camera operated by someone else. There are many different options how the chapter could look like, I will give the participants some ideas, but I will mainly underline that there is not a bad way of doing it. The chapter should express how the participant feels about loneliness, what does their loneliness look like, what is their experience or maybe what do they do to avoid loneliness. So, they might choose to film their favourite armchair, how they are meeting with friends, their dear pet, they might decide to say something on the camera or record a voice-over. This will all depend on them and that is why it is now rather unpredictable what will the film look like. The filming will take place at the end of May.
During the Collaboration Modul which I attend at LJMU as part of my Master's course, we've been asked to find someone to collaborate with. My project is based on collaboration with its nature but I felt that it is not enough. As I often work as a freelancer for FACT and I've also done there my Erasmus Internship couple of months ago, it seemed logical that I will try to collaborate with FACT. Moreover, they often do a similar type of projects as mine is.
The ongoing collaboration is fully described in the relective journal.