Memory.. Saving private Ryan


The first lecture for this module still lives strongly in my memory although we are fast approaching the summit of 305mc. In today’s eventful lecture we focused in on memory. Initially we recapped on what we had previously learnt which was great just to revisit some theorists and key points. Here are my notes.

Discursive memory – involves language, text and images.

Sturken – Technologies of memory. Our memories are active and not passing vessels.

‘Where memory is concerned, the personal is political’ Susana Bradstone.

Discursive memory is not fact but ‘a system of ordered procedures for the production, regulation, distribution, circulation…’ Foucault

We broke down Saving private Ryan and the different characters which exist within the text. It’s interesting that we almost choose the things we want to remember. The things which make for a good story, and even though this film is meant to be reflecting history it goes off and features lead characters and makes them heroes. The film is about ‘The good war, ‘America’s triumphalism’ and ‘memory of sacrifice’. ‘Instead of depicting history they rewrite it’ Godfrey and Lilley, 2008 p. 277). There are also contrasting depiction of the film one of bravery and another brutality.

The second case study was Suffragette an ‘untold story of the real foot solders of the suffrage movement’. Again this film was depicting these females in very heroic manner looking at how they fought for change, how they were treated and more importantly how they treated others.

Journalists are affected by their upbringings, views, and institutions which shows through in the media. We that consume the media have to be aware that the text has been constructed from a point of view that can shape our memories on a particular matter for better or worse.(Collective memory)

‘Memory is thematically diverse, made up not only of crises of outrages but every day life the aspects of living that most of us do experience first hand: music, food, sports, work, fashion, friendships, family, food, even the weather. All of these categories of life are subjects of journalism. Surely these aspects of social memory are more lasting and more central to our identity than our memories of the Watergate scandal or the fall of the Berlin Wall’  (Kitch 2008 p. 313). I agree with quote, it’s the simple things we tend to remember most. The things we do instinctively without even thinking.

The lecturer helped me to look at my subject through it’s genre and the way in which it is being mediated through pictures, articles etc. Where was it published?

‘Memory work’ (my definition) Is breaking down things which have been reconstructed from memory and interrogating to decipher it’s authenticity. Actual quote from…(Kuhn, 2000: 186 p. 303)

Once you publish something you have created an archive that other journalists can extract from whether it is the truth or not if it is relevant enough it will continue to be recycled.

During our seminar group we watched a clip of ‘Persepolis and through this clip you really get to see the importance of authenticity and truth when telling some sort of story. The power of memory is displayed as the little girl goes to school and recites some of the torture techniques her uncle endured. It also displays how stories and myths are recycled and passed down like mentioned in lecture.

Our next task was to use a form a media alongside our voices to describe ourselves to our peers. I used two songs which resinate deeply with me which was Mike GLC – Make it home and Drake’s closer. It became apparent to me that I only mentioned the things which highlighted my best and creative bits. I left out many truths which may of painted a negative image of myself around my peers. I also realised that I filtered the information according to my audience. I spoke about things I thought they could relate to. This just showed me how careful you have to be when reading information and also when we are the one telling it. People will tell you what they want to tell you and not always the truth.


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