StoryLab International Film Development Research Network collaborated with Dr David Robinson and his archeology team in applying the ethnomediaology methods developed in the StoryLab Malaysia, StoryLab Ghana and StoryLab Colombia workshops to deliver stakeholder engagement with their Wind Wolves Preserve archeology project. This is a long standing archeology project excavating in the southern California mountains north of Los Angeles. Iakovos Panagopoulos MA, a PhD student of Professor Erik Knudsen at the University of Central Lancashire, coordinated and delivered a series of StoryLab workshops during June and early July 2018. Participants in these workshops included Wind Wolves Park Rangers, UCLan archeology students and members of the Tejon Native American tribal community.
The principal aim of this collaboration was to find effective ways to engage Tejon Native Americans, Park Rangers and archeology students in the Wind Wolves Preserve area of California in their histories, as evidenced in part through archeological finds, and to enable them to connect these histories to contemporary contexts and challenges. Any history of relevance has to be a living history continually connected to the present. The ubiquity of cinema storytelling offers an opportunity to explore how contemporary Native Americans, and other more recent communities also connected to the land, may engage with their histories as living phenomena as it relates to the land, the landscape and its heritage.
The objectives of the workshops were to apply the ethnomediaology principles used in the AHRC funded StoryLab International Film Development Research Network, led by Professor Erik Knudsen, to the Wind Wolves Preserve Archeology Project, led by Dr David Robinson, by engaging a selection of local Tejon Native Americans, Reserve Park Rangers and archeologists in the development and making of a number of short films for eventual screenings and other engagement activities within the Native American communities and beyond. Principles of Participatory Filmmaking were applied and project briefs set to encourage an engagement with place and archeological finds. The workshops were led and facilitated by Iakovos Panagopoulos.
There were 3 groups, each participating in a complete set of workshops.
- Session 1: Participants would meet and greet, followed by more expansive introductions. Iakovos Panagopoulos led an in class seminar on story and creativity, followed by practical exercises exploring Creativity and Story.
- Session 2: Participants started the development of stories in response to previous workshop.
- Session 3: Technical training on mobile shouting led by Iakovos Panagopoulos. After that the participants shot their short films on location.
- Session 4: Participants editing their films and this was followed by screenings and discussion.