The first study block of the Final Major Project module has presented a number of logistical challenges owing to an extended lecturing trip to Hong Kong in February and March which, combined with the necessary preparatory work, has left me with only limited time to devote to the project. In fact, time constraints in the New Year meant that the Pecha-Kucha presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poSPnqhegvY&t=136s and the Final Project Proposal (due in February) FMP proposal both had to be largely finalised before the Christmas break. However, feedback from the proposal was gratifyingly positive and has certainly given me the confidence to take the project through to its conclusion.
In February, I travelled to Bristol to meet Victoria Forrest designbyvictoria.com who has long experience in the design of photo books. Victoria has been a guest lecturer on at least two occasions during the course and I was particularly impressed by her presentation concerning the design and production of Radical Love (Chronicle Books, 2015) by the photographer Toni Greaves http://tonigreaves.com/ which documents a young college student’s journey to nunhood in a cloistered religious community. I am in discussion with Victoria concerning the design and production of the photo book which is my final goal in the MA course.
Following two one-to-one tutorials with Stella Baraklianou I was able to achieve some clarity as to the future direction of the project. Stella correctly pointed out that in the context of a project concerning Irish poets from both sides of the border (and, indeed, both sides of the sectarian divide) greater emphasis should be given to issues arising out of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union and to the continuing legacy of the Troubles. I hope to deal with these themes during my forthcoming visit to Ulster in the last week of March. In this connection, I have been looking at the work of Paul Seawright (see in particular http://www.paulseawright.com/sectarian) and Willie Doherty http://www.williedoherty.com