(Summer 18) Morgan Augillard, G, ZUMIX, MA,
It’s been amazing working with Zumix and What’s Up Eastie? this summer. I’ve learned so much, but nothing as important as the “ah-ha” moment I had while editing an episode of the show. Kannan, the host and my supervisor, has been recording this show for over a year; that’s over 60 episodes of What’s Up Eastie?! Since Kannan records live, the raw data of the show end up being around an hour long. One of my tasks this summer has been to cut and edit episodes down to around 30mins to make them more accessible to audiences streaming them online. Originally I didn’t think much of this task and didn’t think editing half an hour out would be complicated—I was wrong!
As I worked on an episode and realized I’d edited the usual things out—ums, dead air, stumbles and stammers, music we’re not licensed to stream—and still had 45 minutes of show, I began to think, “What do I cut now? Which parts of the interview/story can’t be lost without losing the story? Can I rearrange things?” All at once I realized that the process of editing someone’s story and voice quickly becomes subjective, and as I continue to mix, rearrange, and delete, is the story still theirs? Or have I rewritten it? Research, gathering narratives, and interviewing subjects will become a huge part of my work as a planning student. Working and editing material for What’s Up Eastie? has made me realize the magnitude of being responsible for another person’s story, and the power that responsibility holds.
My hope for the rest of this internship, as well as throughout my education and career, is to continue being conscious of this power, to recognize when it can be used to enhance a story, and when it can begin to negatively reshape a person’s narrative. In the present media climate, it seems more important than ever to be cognizant of this power, and attempt to hold as true to the author’s story as possible. Zumix and What’s Up Eastie? have been instrumental in letting me experiment with this form of narrative media. I’m so excited to finish my summer with them and for the revelations to come. Stay tuned!
Hello! I’m Morgan Augillard, and I just finished my first year of planning school. Originally I’m from New Orleans, LA, but this summer I’ll be spending my time working at ZUMIX Radio on a show called What’s Up Eastie in East Boston. I’m really excited to use a new media to talk about planning issues, and more importantly to work with young people! Keep reading to find out more.
Evidenced by recent social movements such as Black Lives Matter and the outcry of Parkland youth following the tragedy in Florida, media has become a vital component to lifting community concerns and voices to national media attention. Media has become one of the primary ways that young people in particular have engaged in conversations and started moving the needle of social change. I’m excited to work with ZUMIX this summer as an opportunity to work with a media platform founded on youth voice, and as a way to better connect with issues concerning the greater Boston community I live and attend school in.
ZUMIX is a non-profit organization focused on audio and other digital media production as a conduit towards positive youth development. Powered by youth and broadcasting from East Boston, ZUMIX believes in media production as a powerful way for local youth to grow and develop their voices and self-identity. ZUMIX also hosts adult shows run by East Boston community members. ZUMIX also holds many community events to promote the power of media making, and allow communities that otherwise may not have the opportunity to engage in media production the chance to find their voice in a new medium.
So far, my day to day at ZUMIX has included recording live radio shows, learning audio editing techniques, listening to youth radio shows, and discussing with Kannan the possibilities of turning his live radio recordings into edited podcast episodes. This past week, we had the chance to talk with a lovely older couple from East Boston, who unfortunately due to housing pressures are being forced to leave the place they’ve called home their whole lives. Displacement is a difficult topic, but is one that needs to be on the minds of planners and designers with the continued rise of development throughout the city. Talking with the Diogardi’s gave me a glimpse into the power of bringing personal narrative to planning conversations. Displacement is not a namely, faceless problem, but one that’s affect locals like the Diogardi’s every day. I cannot wait to continue exploring this idea throughout my summer with ZUMIX.
As a planner, I feel that data mining and land use maps are only a couple aspects of the profession. My personal theory of practice includes working with narrative to push data beyond numbers, and bring real stories to urban issues and planning. Often this type of narrative work is left to journalism or sociology, but I believe narrative can be positioned as a civic tool towards shifting governmental mindsets, affecting policy work, and supporting innovation in the public sphere. I’m so excited to continue working on these and other goals throughout the summer, and to see all the places audio work can go. So, if you’re in East Boston tune into ZUMIX Radio 94.9fm (also streaming at http://zumix.org/listenlive.html), and check back for my next blog post later in the summer!