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Blog 13

Good afternoon, all! When I first started writing these blog posts, it was always difficult for me to come up with enough meaningful things to talk about. Now, I feel like I can never cover everything I want to before the blog post’s end. I suppose I will focus, today, on the video project.

I will start by talking about my group’s video and process in general. I had never been assigned a video project until now, and it scared me so much that I legitimately considered dropping the class and my English minor. I didn’t know anything about Texas, Segregated cemeteries, or video editing. Luckily, I changed my mind and decided to stick it out. I also do not typically like group projects, but this one has gone, “swimmingly,” as Taylor would say. So this is a mini shout out to Caitlin, Taylor, and Sam. Thank you for being so great!

Moving along…the most interesting aspect of this video project was, to me, conducting the interviews down in the square. It was so interesting hearing all of the different opinions and being able to compare the mindsets of the old with the young, the white with the black, the rich with the poor, etc. The most noticeable difference was in age. Typically, the older people, who actually knew more about the cemeteries, were less interested in recovering the cemeteries.

One thing I had a lot of trouble with near the end of the project, however, was exactly that. The older people were uninterested in saving the cemeteries because, as one woman asked, “There are starving children on the streets and you want us to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars into a cemetery?” I can absolutely empathize with this viewpoint, especially when paired with the fact that, as another very intelligent man reminded us, burying the dead in cemeteries is a fading tradition. Burial is simply less practical than cremation, so putting tons of money into these cemeteries can seem a little strange.

With that being said, I am entirely for recovering these cemeteries. As cliché as it may sound, I do genuinely believe that we owe it to ourselves to research the past. I recently read something about how much art informs culture, and how important it is to recognize patterns in culture change. I think, then, we should work to recover these cemeteries as much as we would work to recover documents for a museum installation…if not more. And on top of that, I think it’s important for us to work as quickly as we can to recover the cemeteries. The longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to uncover their untold secrets.

Our original plan for this project and for this video was to somehow incorporate physical art into these cemeteries. But after a large amount of research, we decided it seemed more like we were simply decorating the site as opposed to getting down to the deeper meaning and sharing that with others. Nonetheless, we did incorporate paper cranes into the project at the very end. Paper cranes are representative of wishes, so when our project was all said and done, we decided to create literal wishes to place in the Old Georgetown Cemetery. My wish is for people to notice the broken headstones and high grass and rusted white crosses stuck into the ground. Then, maybe the paper cranes. And who knows, maybe it will inspire them to make their own wishes, and maybe those wishes will be for the cemetery and the stories inside. Okay, bye!

 

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