The Mapping Baybrook project (ART 390 & AMST 422/680) and the Mill Stories project (MCS 370 & AMST 403) are working with Marc Steiner and the Center for Emerging Media during the spring 2014 semester. We will all be working together on a radio series focused on stories of deindustrialization in the Baltimore region, specifically Baybrook and the Sparrows Point communities. The week-long series will air during the Marc Steiner show (WEAA 88.9) from Monday, May 12 until Friday, May 16 and have accompanying visual/video components. The series will focus on the following themes (1) The Power of History (2) Resistance & Revitalization (3) Art & Culture (4) Futures.
We want to build bridges and see patterns/connections between the two places/projects and focus on amplifying the stories and visions of what the residents and communities think they deserve. We will be using the power of media to understand historical forces and to critically explore today’s important stories—specifically, the stories of post-industrial places in Baltimore.
Students who missed Steiner’s talk at UMBC (Monday, March 10), please check out this introductory video and the audio or video (your choice) from Steiner’s lecture at UMBC (audio on Jonni’s (ART 390) blog OR the full video here) and write your own blog post reflecting on the lecture (due Tuesday, March 25) and any ideas you have for the radio series and accompanying media. We certainly want to include a piece on the Filbert Street Garden and the importance of our fundraiser on May 18.
When students in the UMBC courses met with Marc before spring break (Friday, March 14 at Tavern on the Hill) we started to come up with ideas. Our central questions were: How do we make connections between these two different industrial communities? How do we bring people together to share stories?
Students discussed including material culture and momentos from the communities, focusing on family stories to generate collective memory, and giving cameras to residents to represent their own communities. It is also important to include the voices of the youth because their opinions matter, especially for the futures of the communities. While it is important to reflect on how knowledge is passed down by generations within the community, we also need to consider how things change and the views of “outsiders.” How do we best connect to a place as “outsiders”? How are representations reflected inside and outside of a community through the process of developing the identity of a place? We also need to explore how various flows of immigrants and migrants to these communities have changed and continue to change their identities. We also discussed how the culture of work is like another family in certain industries where workers find not only their livelihood but also their cultures and identities within their jobs.
We are all going to get together again in the IRC classroom (ITE 109) on Friday, April 4 at noon, to start to plan the programming for the radio series.