Blog Post #1 — Global Lives Project

This blog post will be the first in the series of blogs that I will be writing for one of my classes, UGBA 192AC. This class is oriented around Social Movements & Social Media. Each class, I will write about a different topic ranging from some interesting news articles to the guest speakers that we had in class.

Last week was our first week of class. It was an interesting experience going into a Haas class so different from the others. We had some guest speakers from the Yerba Buena Art center and the professor also told us about a really cool project that he is working on called the Global Lives Project.

The Global Lives Project is a video archive that consists of footage from all over the world. The basic premise is that the team goes around the world and records the lives of someone for 24 hours to gain a glimpse into what their day to day life. The project started in 2004 when our professor, David Harris, founded it. Since its inception, the project has generated over 3 Terabytes of Footage. Their website can currently be visited at: http://globallives.org/explore/. Viewers can access all of the footage on the website and in addition, you can download all of the footage for offline viewing. The project is unique because it tries to pick people proportionally based on the world’s true demographic in terms of location, age, and stage in life. This truly provides a great representative of people’s daily lives globally.

Featured on the front page are people from all over the world, ranging from San Francisco to Kenya to Serbia. The projected has gained enough traction to be funded by National Endowment of the Arts. In addition, the project has been featured as an art exhibit in Google headquarters as well as the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts.

I personally found this to be a very interesting divergence from a typical Haas class. It was refreshing to see that our professor did not come from a similar background as our other professors and was interested in different topics. In addition, this project was interesting because it was an immense undertaking that our professor founded. Further, it was also interesting how this project had been viewed as art more so then a documentary-like project. I initially thought that this was a documentary video library whose goal was simply to document everyday life. However, since the project received funding from the National Endowment of the Arts and was displayed as an art exhibit, I found it interesting that the boundaries of art were more open then I originally thought. This seemed to be an interesting look into a world that I have never really been given the opportunity to explore in my classes at Cal. As a result, I am excited to see what this class has to offer in the upcoming weeks.

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