Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crowd-Sourcing Granny Stories

Hanna Sköld, the very talented writer and director of Nasty Old People, is involved in a new film project titled: Granny's Dancing on the Table.  This project has taken on a form that I've never seen in the film-making world before.  It deeply engages the project's audience (through interactive creative process) prior to an actual theater and/or online release of the film.  But how?  How is Sköld and her "granny-universe" community pulling off this feat?

Months ago I wrote about Hanna involving her fans in the actual screen-writing process - about the writing workshops that she's been holding in coffee shops and libraries, as well as the Q & A that she does through Facebook and then incorporates into her character development work.  Well, Hanna hasn't stopped here!  She's continuing to encourage people to participate in this very community-oriented creative process, asking them to contribute stories and photos of their grandmothers.  All of these stories and photos will then be compiled for an online exhibition and a few street exhibitions (from Sweden to Serbia to Germany to Spain).  Hanna told me that the exhibition will be:

A space where grannies can be remembered and exist.  It's also a way to tell a female history through the stories of ordinary woman from around the world, stories that have never been told. I think all of these stories put together will be a powerful manifestation connected to our roots. 

So if this wonderful crowd-sourcing project strikes you as interesting - if you're inspired to honor the spirit and legacy of your granny - take the time to upload a story and photo to the Facebook page Hanna established for these two fast approaching exhibitions (which are happening in about 4 days).  Hanna told me that you're welcome to share any story that touches your heart.  She said it can be about "spectacular happenings or everyday stories".  And if you never knew your granny, she suggested that you upload a photo of your granny, and then write a line or two about what she means to you or how you have pictured her over the years.  

Just a little side note before I click "publish post".  I contributed my granny story a while ago and found the sharing of my thoughts about her an interesting process.  My grandmother has committed a lot of brave and unconventional acts in her lifetime, but the first thing that I wanted to tell the world about had nothing to do with her great adventures.  My first thought, best thought focused on her infectious laugh.  And this made me think, "Is my vision of happiness rooted in how I see my grandmother?"  An interesting question that came from this interesting project.  Thank you Hanna!  

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