Last week Pue’s was contacted by Ruth Kenny who is looking for assistance on an exciting project that she is putting together in November. Ruth is running a Mass Observation project in Dublin. This is a re-creation of the Mass Observation project that first took place in the UK in 1937 and which involved 2,000 voluntary observers watching, listening and reporting on the streets of Bolton and London. The original project was led by Tom Harrisson, an anthropologist and adventurer, Charles Madge, a poet and journalist, and Humphrey Jennings, a documentary film-maker. Nothing was beneath their attention; from snippets of overheard conversations to the number of people wearing tweed overcoats on a given day; from a survey of window displays to the average number of chips in a six-penny portion (25 and one-sixth chips, excluding the small bits, in case you’re wondering).
Ruth says ‘you may think that this is completely inconsequential stuff, but to me there’s something magical about this kind of trivia frozen in time. It’s a snapshot of everyday life at a particular moment and forces us to look at the city and the people around us in a new way. I’m interested in pretty much everything you might see or hear, whether it’s about yourself or other people; from a list of the contents of your kitchen cupboard to the number of drunk people you see on your way home; from the number of birds you see flying past your window to the type of rubbish you have to step over on your daily walk; from how many times you check your phone a day to the number of people wearing wristwatches on any given stretch of Dublin pavement.’
Anyone participating can remain anonymous. The aim is to sustain the whole thing for the month of November. Images are welcome and there is no quota on words- you decide what goes in and how much. If you are interested and would like more information on how to participate you can email Ruth at massobservation2011 AT gmail.com
Tags: Mass Observation