Sensory recall predominantly comes from visual stimuli and when you hear the old adage of ‘A picture speaks a thousand words’ you might perhaps forgive the focus of Memory-Trees.com on giving people that place to create their own digital archive; to remember the lives of loved ones using both written words in the form of poems, prayers and memoirs together with photos and video of particular treasured experiences, of photos that represent that person or a reminder of a happier time.
We are excited to be working with Siobhán L Stevenson PhD, an Oral History Consultant and Audio Producer. who wanted to capture through audio memory and storytelling those taken prematurely during and because of the pandemic so as to have a record or remembrance through sound.
Siobhán approaches each notable project with a huge amount of knowledge, skills, and compassion. She likes to build relationships and trust with the people she works with to achieve beautiful clarity and storytelling together. She has worked on some absolutely amazing projects from groups and charities like Creative Black Country, Midland Heart, Townscape Heritage, and Down’s Syndrome Association. She is always able to engage and create inspiring pieces of work and we know she will do the same for The Forest of Memories and Memory-Trees.com.
The idea behind the project will be to build a collection of memories that don’t focus on Covid or the pandemic but rather, remember the loved ones through conversations about who they were, their passions, loves and what inspired them..
The aim is to give back through the Memory-Trees platform so that there is a permanent audio keepsake that will be told by you or a member of the family and that can be recalled and shared with future generations. Additionally, with your consent, these audio memories and sound bites will make up the audio landscape within the Forest of Memories, to inspire others and help share the fact that they weren’t merely a number but a loving family member, a part of a network of individuals and an integral branch in the tree of life!
Dr Siobhán Stevenson would like to trial this concept and project with a number of families via video call initially, making sure that you are comfortable and able to give natural responses. Siobhán and her team will guide and put your mind at ease through friendly conversation and open questions; should you prefer to not have the video that is also fine.
As the places for this initial project will be limited we thought the fairest way would be to select 5 random families from those who have dedicated a tree at http://www.Memory-Trees.com, the draw for this will happen on the 16th of April 2021. Those names will be contacted by a member of The Forest of Memories and we will arrange a convenient and comfortable time when you might have an hour available to have this chat.
With the thanks, support and blessing of Dr Stevenson there will be no charge for this initial project but we hope that it will naturally expand and we can use these to secure fund or grant support so that we can collect and build a larger remembrance project that links with The Forest of Memories and Memory-Trees.com.
The Audio Memory itself will be skillfully and compassionately edited based on the friendly interview that will be focused around a photo of you with your loved one; a portrait or perhaps even a cherished object that reminds you of them. This could be a collection, a piece of clothing or jewellery, perhaps a classic car or even their favourite chair. Each item holds memories of that special someone, who they were and what they loved and by using these we can focus the conversation onto the positive memories and give you a keepsake that will be treasured for generations.
About Siobhán L Stevenson PhD
Siobhán has a PhD in Media & Cultural Studies which focuses on implementations of policy in practice in community radio environments. After working as an academic with undergraduate and postgraduate students for over a decade, she witnessed the power of media and digital literacy skills in building confidence and aspiration as people learn to represent themselves on their own terms. Siobhán has worked with and researched a diverse range of communities and presented work at a number of national and international conferences. Siobhán continues to design, deliver and advise on media courses at several universities across the UK and is perfect to be leading this project.
Hear an example of a Life Stories project Siobhán worked on:
What others say about Siobhán:
I commissioned Siobhan to provide training to volunteers in oral history interviewing techniques. Sitting in on the training I had first-hand experience of the professionalism and expertise that Siobhan has in this area. However, more revealing to me was the way Siobhan interacted with the volunteers to make them feel at ease throughout the training and the empathy she displayed. I know that Siobhan has kept in touch with some of them and has offered to support them during the remainder of the project. Her work is always delivered on time and on budget and to an exceptional standard, often exceeding expectations of agreed outputs and outcomes. The only thing to be aware of is how much you will miss her when the project ends!
Jez Collins – Founder, Birmingham Music Archive
Plant a ‘Memory-Tree’’ for your loved one
We have taken thousands of dedications to plant Memory Trees in The Forest of Memories, and offering people a place to collectively remember their loved ones on Memory-Trees.com. Thank you to everyone who has helped to do this by providing information on their loved ones. The Memory Trees we have set up are only a fraction of the numbers who have dedicated a tree in the Forest of Memories so far. We encourage anyone who hasn’t yet created a Memory Tree to do so.
If you have not yet created a Memory Tree for a loved one you lost during this pandemic, you can do this today. Please visit Memory-Trees.com After registering you will be able to create, always free, Memory Tree, which is a physical tree in The Forest of Memories, attached to the digital Memorial of your loved one.
Don’t worry if you have already dedicated a Memory Tree, you will still be included in the draw.
The Forest of Memories
The Forest of Memories is a project started by ‘Our Heroes CIC’ with the objective of creating a network of memorial forests around the UK. Forests of remembrance for all those who have tragically lost their lives during this pandemic, and the creation of sustainable places of reflection for the bereaved and for people whose mental health has been affected.
The Forests of Memories will be grown in memory of people adversely affected during the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst addressing climate change, benefiting biodiversity, and establishing an educational and cultural resource for local communities. Creating a lasting tribute to people in ways that will benefit future generations.
STAY SAFE AND REMEMBER TOGETHER