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ARCHIVAL FILMS : Why we need to remember

Memory is not just a sentimental trip, it is a tool. It is Cultural Storytelling that helps us Learn, Evolve and Thrive.

Hard statistics and raw data has seldom sprung groups of people into action. Human beings remember data and information through the memory of the feeling associated with it.

It is important to remember not just for individual creators and artists like us but also for organisations and communities.

Every event and experience contributes to our memory bank, that guides us to maturity. Its not just a repository of knowledge but provide deep insights that lead to wisdom. While there is a universality about the learning from collective experiences as a community, every individuals journey is unique . The moments and challenges that each us face are wholly unique. They are unique not only in the actual events but also in the unique response that each of us have to those situations.

Since the responses vary tremendously, the takeaways also are individual and unique.

Organisations and businesses need to remember.

In order to create a culture within an organisation, it is important to have a cohesive sense of values and systems. Memory and documentation can be sifted through to Learn, Evolve and be able to Thrive.

In times like these it is important to be agile as an organisation and the agility depends on how well aligned everyone is to a shared sense of purpose. Organisations need to go beyond the statistical documents and business growth conversations to build that strong sense of purpose.

The ability to alter and change with ease is another an aspect of being agile.

Stories are the most impactful way to trigger change and inculcate culture. As they engage and involve people emotionally.

Why are Stories important for organisations?

Stories are important — To Learn

We fall and we learn.
We experience and we learn.
We learn from the interactions in our community.

The concept of learning is like building blocks. We pile the learnings up. As we grow taller and wider we also need to grow deeper. Memory is the resource for learning that over time. Even though the specific time might be long past, the feeling and meaning we derive is what we imbibe as learning.

That is why children learn when they DO rather than when they are told. This is why “experiential learning” has become the go to concept at all education levels.

Organisations are a collective of people. The learning from the past experiences is not just for those in leadership roles. It is also for each individual within the framework of the organisation that creates the “culture of learning”.

Challenges we face, individually and as a collective, trigger learning. The memory of the strength and the actions that helped us deal with those challenges, is what makes us better.

Leaders need to remind their teams of these takeaways to create synchronous learning that leads to a cohesive workflow and culture.

Stories are important — To Evolve

Learning alone without action is futile.

It can be a relatively small act or a quantum leap. The scale and volume of the action isn’t important. The action triggered by the learning and wisdom gained leads to evolution.

The action can be in any form —

  • It can be the act of knowledge sharing.
  • it can be in the form of dissertations triggering conversations that create awareness of that learning
  • it can be a imbuing of the knowledge into wisdom
  • it can lead to steps to be taken to lead towards that shared vision.

These actions are the first steps to evolution and if need be pivoting of a business. They are informed by the memory of the organisation creating a bridge between the past and the future through actions done in the Now.

Stories are important — To Thrive

Surviving in the current world is a challenge in itself. When March 2020 arrived I don’t think anyone thought beyond the urgent need to find ways to survive through the next few months. It’s been a local to global challenge all around — at every possible imaginable level. From the individuals to businesses and organisations — survival has been key.

Those of us who survive it, will need the memory and learning to be able to evolve and soon enough thrive again.

The actions that bore fruit as well as those that didn’t need to be remembered and distilled to systems that inform business decisions.

Illustration from Roy.Studio

Film is a medium for storytelling.

It not only shares the information and engages the audience, it also offers that trigger for conversations to start. Better and deeper conversations are the foundation of a cohesive team culture.

Stories trigger emotion which we respond to far deeper than data.

In an organisation, it is important to present the shared purpose through impactful and engaging stories. Often these are done through maintaining archives and presenting them within the organisation through exhibits and HR driven communication. But when urgent action and united effort needs to be activated these methods and tools seldom deliver results.

A short film that imbibes the authentic voice, and communicates the vision of the organisation with archival material to support it helps reach out deeper. This film needs to be less of an edit of talking heads and more of an emotive presentation of the information to instil pride and belonging.

Animation and Motion Graphics is an indispensable tool to interface with archival material. We have been using this medium to help organisations contextualise stories from the past to the present and visualise the future.

Here are a few examples :

Jack Daniel’s has a whole series

A mixed media Film for a Heritage brand that highlighted the importance of building their archive


how it was created

This has been a challenging time — and many of us have had a chance to relook at our needs, actions and dreams to find a way pivot ourselves, our businesses and our species. The pivot needs a concerted effort for change to be able to emerge into an energetic and hopeful New Normal.




design culture business

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Designer, Animation Director & Anti Disciplinary Artist. She is the founder director of www.theswitchstudio.com and Partner in www.Roy.Studio

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