Nostalgia Ti Frega : a photographic topography of memory, identity, and place

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Nostalgia Ti Frega is a photographic exploration of memory, identity, and place focusing on the migrant community of a Sicilian village destroyed by an earthquake 40 years ago. It is a creative photographic project that aims to capture a sense of the virtual space the destroyed village now inhabits within the community, the memories and stories that form this space, and the role of photographs in its construction. The project is designed to depict and engage the community of villagers and their descendants, inviting them to engage and interact with photographs and experience a sense of what ‘the village' is today. Broadly the project consists of over 1200 individual postcard-sized printed photographs, presented in (and across) 5 specially designed, handcrafted wooden boxes; a ‘bespoke’ iPad application showcasing the same photographs within an emergent digital environment, allowing users to discover images playfully and leave comments if desired; and an exegesis that outlines the theoretical and creative framework of the project, including literature of influence during creative development, methodologies employed during research and production, and the project’s contribution to broader creative practice within a hybrid post-digital media context. Conceptually Nostalgia Ti Frega examines notions of memory, identity, and place by tracing a path through the disruption of post-war migration and loss of homeland to current thinking around a ‘reflective nostalgia’ that makes space for hybrid identities and histories. It also examines the evocative potential of objects and touch, both physical and digital, as sources of identity, connection, and belonging. Creatively the project has sought to experiment with storytelling, exploring how non-linear, fragmentary, hybrid story platforms may operate to enhance formation and maintenance of a collective hybrid identity. To that end it positions itself as the inheritor of a creative trajectory beginning with literary experiments in book publishing in the 1960s, moving through broadcast television during the advent of media convergence, and arriving at the mutable “post-artefact” potential of current digital technologies. Finally, while employing an emergent creative process, the digital design and development of Nostalgia Ti Frega has drawn heavily from the Agile methodology of software development. The synergies and resonances with this methodology are outlined.
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