Monday, 13 September 2010

Society of Cartographers Summer School

Lauren's report from Manchester...

Post 4: What I Heard About The World - Research Table at The Society of Cartographers Summer School

On Thursday 9th, the What I Heard team took a day off from rehearsals, to take part in the Society of Cartographers’ 46th Summer School in Manchester. There was some concern, given the previous day’s breakthrough, that the day in manchester might be a bit of an interruption to the devising process, but in the end it turned out to be worthwhile for everyone.

The research table had been run a few times before, so Chris, Alex and Jorge were familiar with the format, so they decided to introduce countries to the map at random rather than alphabetically. Chris then had to place the post-it note representing that country from memory, Jorge read aloud the long and short form of the country’s name in its native tongue, then any stories were collected. Where nothing new came up, or there were no delegates present, pre-gathered stories were re-used.

The delegates seemed to enjoy the improvised, ‘lo-fi’ nature of the map, and had no hesitation in telling Chris to rearrange his post-its when inaccurate (FYI, St Kitts and Nevis is North of St Lucia, not the other way round...). The nature of what a country is has been discussed by the performers before, but it became especially prescient in the company of experts, and there were many interesting discussions about mapping, borders, the history and politics of dividing up the world. We even learnt a new word: exclave.

Alex gave a talk about the development of What I Heard in the afternoon which was warmly received, and we received several new stories from delegates, which will be looked at further next week, and perhaps worked into the show.

Photos can be found at:

AudioBoos of Alex’s talk can be found here: Part 1 and Part 2

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