The Resemblage Project: May 2019

This multimedia “scrapbook” documents a month-long deep dive into The Resemblage Project as part of the Jackman Scholars-in-Residence program. Section One, Background, captures emergent themes and challenges in our work through a candid conversation among project participants. Section Two, Process, maps the aesthetic visioning behind the project, from the initial banner image to the final logo. Section Three, Inspiration, brings to life the source materials that gave shape to our creations, in spirit and form. Section Four, Readings, references some of the scholarship we engaged with, including links to articles and PDFs. The intent behind this scrapbook is to provide a partial snapshot of the stages of The Resemblage Project until present, while offering points of departure for future work by students, scholars, artists, and activists situated at the intersections of age studies, social justice, and digital humanities.


Background

What is the potential of digital storytelling in age or aging studies? What can interdisciplinary work do? What is the story behind your story?

This roundtable conversation took place following one month of intensive collaborative work on The Resemblage Project in May 2019. Participants Larissa Lac, Iqra Mahmood, Deborah Ocholi, Mia Sanders, and Xiaoli Yang were all Jackman Scholars-in- Residence during this period, with Andrea Charise as our project director. All were invited to reflect on the process of critical making and digital storytelling through open-ended prompts. Celeste Pang, Project Manager and Research Assistant, facilitated and transcribed the conversation, and all participants edited their contributions for clarity and public sharing.

This document captures the spirit of our group conversations, and provokes critical challenges to age studies and digital storytelling: from issues of race and representation (the “Unicef-esque”), the potentials of interdisciplinarity (“interdisciplinariness” and the sublime), to creative practice (“forced creativity”, tips on storyboarding, the generativity of the unresolved)—and readiness, or lack thereof, to decolonize these fields. It can be, we hope, a catalyst for further exploration. It certainly was and remains for us.


Process

Banner image created by April Brust in collaboration with Andrea Charise.

The The Resemblage Project logo and colour palette were designed by Iqra Mahmood in a deliberate visual conversation with the The Resemblage Project banner image created by April Brust. The simplicity of the logo—its straight lines and clean circles—contrasts with the busyness of the banner image, perhaps to recall the possibility of serenity within the chaos of memory’s accumulation. The dominant colour is a warm maroon. Two maroon circles, one solid and one a track-like outline, together illustrate the holistic approach of age studies to individual and collective experiences of aging. Against this backdrop, the Toronto Subway Font emphasizes this project’s focus on Toronto and more specifically, Scarborough-based perspectives on aging. The final three letters, ‘AGE’, are situated on the threshold of the logo’s inner and outer boundaries. While age/ing is similarly left on the fringes of society, The Resemblage Project aims to bring it back into the common fold of thought. 

Our assemblage. Artefacts from throughout the month. By Larissa Lac, Iqra Mahmood, Deborah Ocholi, Mia Sanders & Xiaoli Yang.
Leaving Warden Station. By Andrea Charise.

Inspiration

A short study of cultivating happiness among aging populations. Featuring Liao Jialun. Filmed and edited by Lan A. Li.
  1. Digital Storytelling Guidebook by Sonia Chavez
  2. Inter/Generate: Remixing Scarborough’s Stories of Aging. Edited by Andrea Charise with pieces by Angelus Baliwas, Aretina Chan, Kristen Cain, Fredriz Cantilado, Gulamhussein Khalfan, and Kaamil Khalfan
  3. Depression Quest: An Interactive (Non)fiction About Living with Depression by Zoe Quinn, Patrick Lindsey & Isaac Schankle

Readings

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