On the flight to Dublin I watched The Theory of Everything. It made me question the essence of time and putting it in reverse. There were many inspiring quotes, but one in particular stuck out to me. “However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.” For me, traveling is this exact “something” you can do when things go awry. Venturing out of the country to uncover new emotions forces you to forget your troubles and accept an entirely new culture.
As this is not my first time in Europe, it was interesting to compare Ireland to England, Scotland, Wales, and even Italy. I saw many similarities — streets are narrower, cars are smaller, and history is all around you. When I arrived in Dublin, I went for a walk around the city, taking lots of pictures and videos as well as writing for my blog. My class eventually met with Tile Films, an Irish documentary production company. The director/producer for Tile talked with his two sons about the process of filmmaking along with the time, effort, and money put forth to make just one short. This was a great segue into what I’ll be working with during my stay here in Ireland.
The overarching theme for the coursework is transmedia. For this reason, writing, film, photography, archives, and other platforms are used to tell my story and that of a nonprofit, Cuimhneamh an Chláir. I will produce media to promote the organization and help boost my personal resume in the process. I will also use Medium to compile multimedia, observations, etc. from both friends on the trip and myself regarding the numerous places we have visited to see how perspectives change across gender, background, taste, etc. This will be displayed as a psychogeography experiment.
Psychogeography is a lot about how people shape their environment and how, in return, the environment shapes people. In order for the experiment to work, I will travel around without any sense of expectation, appreciating how the senses of smell, taste, sight, sound, and touch draw forth emotions that otherwise would remain a mystery.
In Deborah Knowles’ “Claiming the Streets: Feminist Implications of Psychogeography as a Business Research Method”, she forms a definition of the term. “Psychogeography takes an interpretivist stance to collecting a variety of data using complementary methods. It offers an approach to gaining an understanding of the ways that human behaviour is shaped by the geographical environment (Coverley, 2006), constituting a style of collecting qualitative data which gives a textured or layered view of the real world in a particular environment” (Knowles).
I find it fascinating that everyone sees things in a different way, and in order to analyze this I recorded my own observations and descriptions of place followed by those of my classmates. I was first inspired to experiment with psychogeography after reading a quote from Rebecca Solnit, author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost. She writes, “The places in which any significant event occurred become embedded with some of that emotion, and so to recover the memory of the place is to recover the emotion, and sometimes to revisit the place uncovers the emotion. Every love has its landscape.”