Though it is only Wednesday, more has happened in the past three days that the first two weeks combined. I've been culminating within me all the themes of social action and social justice (through whatever lens) that have been shared. And I've been thinking long-term, instead of remaining grounded in the everyday cycles of gathering photos and tagging interviews. My themes have came forth sideways, out of other obvious patterns.
My emergent themes:
Grassroots Activism and the ACTS' Process
Financial Systems and Institutional Agency
And of course, as this is a community-based exploration and research project, I find myself struggling to remain grounded as is necessary. While a thousand words and theories might be appropriate on one level, the giving back aspect of this project requires me to meet people on a nonacademic level, and that is the true challenge for me. While Anthony Giddens' theory of structuration and personal agency feels theoretically appropriate for the financial systems analysis and theme, the actual content has to both adequately outline the theory while simultaneously working to make it approachable on the street level.
Additionally, the documentary will be driven largely by another thematic narrative: the struggles, triumphs, and mission of ACTS. While this might err on the side of descriptive, the analysis component will focus on human stories of connection and challenge. This will obviously be challenging, to make a non-descriptive narrative out of what could easily be a bland organizational description.
So for the next two weeks, challenges, and a lot of listening and writing. But the themes and narratives that emerge will rise to the appropriate level of what this Field School can produce. The overall trajectory of the project makes so much more sense now that the themes have come to light.