Final Project Ideas

Wade, Katie and I have started discussing final project ideas and are just in the brainstorming phase. We are thinking of a video format for the project and want to include the theme of joy of creativity, which will definitely be exhibited by our work! The assignment says the project should be something that matters to us and is meaningful to a public audience–something you are proud to share with the world.

So far, we tossed around two different genre’s of subjects, one fiction and the other loosely defined as documentary.

One brainstorming idea I contributed is more or less a documentary genre for a video, taking a look at the Tuberculosis epidemic among the indigenous people in Southeast Alaska in the 1950s, particularly around Sitka. It is relevant to people today because TB was never eradicated and has come back since the COVID pandemic put people back in close confines for two years.

The narrative would be visually and aurally stunning with the wild lands and animals; and with restricted travel by only boat or seaplane; and including the rich culture of the Tlingit indigenous people. I have been researching this topic (to write my mother’s story–she was a public health nurse in Sitka in 1953-54) so have some connections and resources for video, photos, and hopefully a retired nurse who would be willing to be interviewed for her perspective on her experience as a nurse in Sitka and member of the community.

There is also the story of the Public Health Service recruiting single female nurses from the Lower 48 to go up to the Territory of Alaska to survey the population for TB. Some of the nurses went from village to village by boat, carrying X-Ray equipment and having people from the villages come on to the SS Hygiene to be screened. Some nurses worked in the clinic in Sitka, like my mother. Then there is the story of the indigenous people throughout Alaska, and how they suffered and died with a 47% mortality rate–entire villages were wiped out from the European disease before the federal government finally paid attention and brought health care workers to provide relief.

Source material exists in the Juneau and Anchorage university libraries, I have three books for resources, and have access to two people in Sitka and possibly an anthropology professor working on the same subject in Arizona. The key to doing this subject would be easy access to enough resources to make this do-able considering the length of the video. If we decide to look at this subject further, we first need to understand the parameters and metrics of the project from Prof Bond before we make our decision.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Paul

    These are all great ideas. I will discuss parameters in the week 10 post.

  2. Olivia

    Both of these ideas sound really cool and very interesting! I like your personal connection to them and I think taking a documentary approach would be very interesting

  3. Wade

    Wow, you did an excellent write up of all the ideas!!!

  4. Bird Hanning

    I would love to see this idea in full form, the documentary-style would be very interesting, particularly as you can not go and film there yourself. I would definitely watch this!

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