All posts by Maya

Headphone Verbatim Theatre

Radio National (Artworks program) today had a story about an interesting form of theatre called Verbatim Headphone Theatre. The Artworks webpage about the story says:

Stories of Love and Hate uses a technique called Headphone Verbatim Theatre, which was begun by the London based Non-Fiction Theatre in 2000 and is pioneered in Australia by the theatre director, Roslyn Oades.

It’s a technique where actors use headphones to listen to interviews and repeat what they hear. It gives the final theatrical experience a certain immediacy and connects the production closely to the community from which the interviews are taken — they go to the show to hear their own voice.”

Its a method that uses real peoples stories and own words in a fictionalised form – providing some anonymity and distance from the intimacy of real peoples experiences, yet maintaining an integrity of peoples own words. I am interested in forms of non-fiction that use creative methods to enhance, protect, or explore the meanings and implications of real life stories.

Click here to go to the ABC site where you can listen to the full program (well worth doing as its all about the voices, words and ways of speaking).

Voices from the Cape


Antonio from Arukun working with a camera - copyright Community Prophets
Antonio from Arukun working with a camera - copyright Community Prophets

Community Prophets has been getting a lot of press this month for their Voices from the Cape project, which worked with children in the Arukun community in Cape York Queensland in a participatory video, animation and music project in 2008. Continue reading

Blogging as a research tool

So I’ve set up this blog in aid of my PhD research. In all honesty I started blogging at the encouragement of one of my supervisors. I have also come to think that this blog may be a useful method  for all my supervisors, friends, colleagues and family members to keep track, should you choose to read regularly, on what I am doing and thinking while I do this project.

The best function of this blog is, potentially, as a point of contact between the various practitioners and projects that I am connecting with in my work, and maybe even some I don’t know about yet. I really hope to hear from others who are interested in similar things, to provoke discussion and to share some images, stories, experiences and reflections. Over time I hope to build up an online curated exhibition of works from a cross section of collaborative art and ethnographic projects around the world. Lets see if we can make this happen….

In starting to blog in earnest I want to declare two things:

  1. I have spent WAY too much time learning about wordpress and fiddling with aesthetics etc… it is a distraction from the core of my interests, so please excuse any aesthetic discomfort my choices, past and future, cause you.
  2. I am uncomfortable about blogging, it being a weirdly public and potentially self indulgent past time, but chosing to do it to keep you all informed and to see if I get some dialogue going… its an experiment, lets see…

Editorial Policy

This site is conducted under the Australian National University policies and guidelines in relation to attribution, plagiarism and ethical behaviour.

Side by Side will not post private emails or other communications from readers without permission, and definitely does not sell email addresses. If you wish to leave a comment on side by side please be aware that your email contact is not published with your comment. In the case of online sources we attribute the source where possible with links and use permalinks if they are available.

Any and all information on this site reflects the thoughts and opinions of the editors, authors and contributors respectively. Every comment, whether made directly or by email will be moderated by the editors prior to publication and no anonymous contributions will be posted.

Requests to cross-link to other relevant sites are encouraged.


How to leave a comment

 Readers may post a comment by following the “No Comments” or “Comments” link at the bottom of each post. (“No Comments” simply means no comments have been sent yet.) Commenters are asked to leave a genuine email address, but this is not published. Contributors should be aware of our comments policy and our undertaking not to sell email addresses.

If you prefer not to leave a comment directly, you may communicate or send .jpeg images by email, which we can insert in existing posts or publish as new posts.

Please note that comments may be closed on old posts to deter spam. If you’d like to make a comment on a post which is not accepting comments, please email. 

how to navigate this blog

There are three ways to navigate around the archive contained in Side by Side:

 1. Clicking on one of the categories listed in the footer (at the bottom of the page) will take you to a list of all posts which fall within that category. Clicking on the post title will reveal the full text and images.

2. Individual posts (the authors’ entries plus comments) are stored chronologically in the archives accessible through the footer, which means you can scroll down and read our discussions backwards in time. When you come to the end of the latest ten posts, you’ll find a link on the bottom left of the page which allows you to see the next ten.
3. You can use the search box in the footer to search for the key words in the titles of the posts.

Comments Policy

Comments Policy

The opportunity for readers to post comments is available on the site. If you choose to leave a comment on side by side, our policy is that all comments will be moderated by the editors prior to publication. If a comment is off-topic, antagonistic, racist, sexist, or constitute exchanges which reflect personal animosity inflatable water slides, or in any way innapropriate or offensive or otherwise infringes University policy we will have no hesitation in deleting it without notice or apology.

Copyright Policy

Copyright policy

Ownership of comments made at this site rests with the individual, and the authors of Side by Side are not able to grant permission to reproduce them

Unless otherwise stated, copyright in published images is held by Maya Haviland. Where copyright in an image is claimed (eg. by a photographer or organisation), the authorship and source of the image is acknowledged, and permission to reproduce is implicit in the submission of the image to this site. In cases where the author is known, but it has not been possible to make contact with a copyright owner, authorship (and source, where appropriate) is acknowledged. In cases where the author is not known, no attribution is possible.

If you claim copyright in an image that appears on this site, Side by Side invites you to email us to advise whether or not permission is given to reproduce the image, and the required form of attribution.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site may contain images and excerpts the use of which have not been pre-authorized. This material is made available for the purpose of analysis and critique, as well as to advance the understanding of collaborative art and ethnographic practice.

The ‘fair use’ of such material on this site (along with credit links and attributions to original sources) is viewable for educational and intellectual purposes. If you are interested in using any copyrighted material from this site for any reason that goes beyond ‘fair use,’ you must first obtain permission from the copyright owner.

picking up the threads

Around the world, in communities large and small, are people working on projects to tell local stories, document their people, crafts, events, places, histories, dreams, memories, struggles, myths… 

In recent years we have seen an explosion of ways in which people are working together to creatively tell their own stories – participatory photography, collaborative film making, community writing, digital story telling. People come together in circles – under trees, in corner stores, studios, living rooms,  classrooms – some hi-tech, some makeshift – and share their stories. Inspired, they pick up cameras, art materials, pens and pencils, recording equipment, note books, and start recording. Fragments of stories emerge at first, but over time narratives take shape, and are put out in the world in one form or another.

Why are people all over the world increasingly using creative methods to collaboratively tell local stories? Who are they communicating with? What kinds of stories are being told and how are they told? What experiences, possibilities and constraints do people experience when they work together making art works and creative expressions about their own communities, lives, cultures, perceptions? Continue reading