This is a message of reassurance, and of questions.
I am still here.
I am still thinking.
Since the end of the campaign My son’s mother has been away so all child care duties are with me for the time being. I have had little time for much else. Also in the last ten days I have found out about three friends suffering from major illnesses & 4 sudden deaths (one of whom was my Mother’s companion of the last 30 years) so peoples’ welfare has been occupying my time. Also this has bought with it a very distinct question of ‘What is the best use of my time.’
To be honest I am also feeling a bit low, not low so much but a bit sad. Aside from two and a half months of work and just over a £1000 (the last of my savings) I put into the Independence in Democracy film project, I had invested a great deal of belief in it too. I had believed, for a number of reasons, that it would all come together and that I would be spending the next 12 months helping raise public awareness and watching an increased political engagement. Despite the amount of work it would have taken to pull it off it feel like it would have been a good use of time and a part of me was already there doing it. So I feel like I am still waiting for that part of me to return before I can decide what to do next.
The £520 pounds that was raised (This is what is left after the fees levied by the transaction and fundraising platforms) came from such a generous place that I am still feeling deeply touched by it, but as I stated in my last post, this project was never intended to be funded by such a small community. This leaves me with a bit of a dilemma:
How do I make it go as far as possible without undervaluing my own time and needs beyond it (which is something I have had tendency to do in the past)
I still believe that communities need their own media projects to highlight the need and emergence of a more inclusive democratic form almost as much as they need the democracy itself. The vast majority of us learn because see that something is possible. Ideologies are all well and good but it is the practical manifestations that generally have a greater impact in inspiring people to action.
So, I’m not sure quite what to do next, how best to use the contributions.
I was always going to spend it wisely, the question is, what is the wisest way to spend it.
Options are to spread it out until the end of May next year, which was the filming deadline I proposed for the original project. This was because the initial proposal had been to follow the rise of independent candidates through to Country Council elections on May 17th of next year – at least this would have been central to the whole exploration. Coverage of this process feels a bit pointless now though.
Alternatively I could use the money to finish editing the footage that I have already shot.
Or I could create something different, something that deals with the fundamental issues that have underpinned the project but in a way that can be delivered effectually and might reach the greatest audience.
To my mind any attempt to make 1% of the project I was proposing feels desperate. Like weeding only 1% of a garden, or washing only 1% of ones body. Sure, you can be selective but the question is “Is it really worth it?”
What I would like to propose is that I make a short series of films – or a single film – that deals with the core issues that I perceive to be underpinning the larger ones. Namely, how we live, what motivates us to choose the paths we do and what holds us back. Why people value things in different ways and what are the sorts of things that alter our perspectives.
Educating Independence at it’s core is really about seeking answers to the following questions, questions that underpin the above – all human activity actually:
‘Who or what are you dependent on?’
‘Does it serve you?’
‘If not, are you O.K. with that?’
‘If not, can you change it?’
‘If you can change it, How will you change it?’
‘If you are going to change when will you start to act?’
So perhaps making a film that applies these questions to the area of local or national politics, or even broader, to life in general. Maybe this would be the most useful.
This is currently what I am thinking.
I am still waiting for that gut feeling though. Currently that is what is missing.
I value the larger project but it feel foolish to pursue it in the same way with such limited resources as the reality is that I neither have the time or money to do so. For this I feel sad.
That’s the way it goes sometimes.
If you have any suggestions or comments please let me know.
All material ©2016 Clive Austin