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20 SEPTEMBER 2013

The Mass Observation Archive: a UK social history writing project

"The Mass Observation Project (MOP) is a unique UK–based writing project which has been running since 1981. ... [it] differs from other similar social investigations because of its historical link to the original Mass Observation and because of its focus is on voluntary, self–motivated participation. It revives the early Mass Observation notion that everyone can participate in creating their own history or social science. The Mass Observers do not constitute a statistically representative sample of the population but can be seen as reporters or 'citizen journalists' who provide a window on their worlds.

The material is solicited in response to 'directives' or open–ended questions sent to them by post or email three times a year. The directives contain two or three broad themes which cover both very personal issues and wider political and social issues and events.

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TAGS

1937198120th century21st century • Charles Madge • citizen journalismconfessioncultural heritagediagramdiary • directives • drawingseventseveryday lifehistorical archiveshistorical chronicles • Humphrey Jennings • letterslistlongitudinal studymapMass Observation Project (MOP)material culture • memoir • open-ended questionsopinion • ordinary people • personal experiencephotographsplacespolitical issuesposterity • press cutting • qualitative researchresearch resourcesself knowledge • self-identity • self-revelationsocial historysocial issuessocial researchstatistically representative samplestoriessubjectivitytheir storiesthematic patterns • Tom Harrisson • UK • University of Sussex • voluntary participationwriting project

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 SEPTEMBER 2013

Mapping Manhattan: a public art project mapping personal experience

"Becky Cooper, a 24–year–old cartographer and writer... asked New Yorkers–and visitors–to map their own versions of Manhattan. She took to the streets, distributing 3,000 copies of a hand–printed outline of the island and encouraged participants to "map who you are or where you are; the invisible or the obvious". All copies were self–addressed and stamped so they could be mailed back to her.

Cooper says around 10% of the maps were mailed back and Mapping Manhattan features 75 of the best contributions. Some are heartbreaking (one person mapped key places in his life, from the first apartment he shared with his wife to where she later died); many invoke humour (a map of lost gloves, pictured above); some are confessions (a student who shows how she funded her studies with work at various strip joints). Some are handscrawled in biro, others are collages, and a few use watercolours."

(Vicky Baker, 15 May 2013, The Guardian)

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TAGS

2009 • Adam Gopnik • around us • Becky Cooper • belongingbirocartographycity mapscultural memorydaily activitydiversity of experienceshand-drawnhand-drawn maps • hand-printed outline • hand-scrawled • heartbreaking • juxtapositionlocation-specificManhattanmapmakingmapping • Mapping Manhattan (project) • memoryNew YorkNew Yorkeroutline drawingpathpersonal cartographypersonal experienceplacepublic artqualitative descriptionsrememberingspatial narrative • strip joint • territoryurban mappingwayfinding

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 MARCH 2011

Extreme frustration: in reality and the Meisner technique

"The Meisner acting technique is a many layered approach that relies heavily on a practice known as emotional preparation. Named after Sanford Meisner, the Meisner technique began as a systematic study of the art of acting for theatre. Based on work done by Russian actor Constantine Stanislovski, Meisner created a hybrid technique that he felt was better suited to the American actor and American theatre. ...

Actors using the Meisner acting technique have the ability to immerse themselves in an emotional 'state' of the character before going onstage. Rather than pretending extreme frustration they must ARE extremely frustrated as they enter the scene. Furthermore, Meisner believed that any actor looking to exploit the Meisner acting technique does their homework by creating and developing a complete set of circumstances and a complete emotional landscape that is in tune with the deeper cravings, needs and emotions that have caused the character to be frustrated."

(Maggie Flanigan Studio)

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TAGS

acting is doing • actoraggression • anger • artistic practicebreakdowncharacter • circumstances • composurecomputercomputer printerconflictConstantin Stanislavskidistressdramaemotion • emotional landscape • emotional preparation • emotional undercurrent • escalation • expressionextreme frustrationfilm acting • forceful • frustrationgesturehate • high emotion • incidentintensity • Maggie Flanigan • Meisner technique • office • outburst • PCperformancepersonal experiencephysical actions • physical task • Prt Sc • ragereactionSanford Meisnerscene • tantrum • temper

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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