On Monday 9th November, the MA in Global Media Management welcomed filmmaker Eileen Jerrett to the Winchester School of Art for a screening of her documentary, Blueberry Soup.
The film takes a close look at how the people of Iceland reacted to the financial crisis of 2008. It examines how they rewrote their national constitution in order to recover from the crash and to prevent it from happening to them again. The focus of the documentary is on the ordinary people and how as a community they acted in concert to overcome the problems.
Of particular interest for the Global Media Management students was how crowdsourcing featured as part of the unique constitutional drafting process. As Eileen describes, “Every decision was documented in an open source format for Icelanders and the rest of the world to provide input. This is the world’s first crowdsourced constitution.”
Eileen continued “Blueberry Soup spent the Fall on a whirlwind European screening/discussion tour. Here we found ways of looking at the Icelandic constitutional process as a template for participatory democracy. Incredible projects and initiatives have already begun popping up from these events and we are witnessing a real shift in creative thinking within the sphere of civic engagement.”
She described her visit to Winchester as one of her favourite stops on the tour. “Here we took a new approach to post-screening discussions and asked students to write questions on post-its. We then grouped the questions into like categories and discussed them collectively. This gave all a chance to participate without the pressure of speaking before the class.”
Dr Dan Ashton, MA Pathway Leader commented: “It was very exciting to have Eileen on campus for a screening of the documentary and for discussion/Q&A sessions with students. Through using the #blueberrysoup hashtag we were able to enter into a conversation with others from around the world who had also watched the documentary. Students were able to explore issues of global citizenship and link these to their own experiences. The visit was also a great opportunity to learn more about the filmmaking process, including how Eileen crowdfunded a film about crowdsourcing, and for budding filmmakers to pick up some tips and insights.”
Eileen has received a lot of praise for her documentary, and it has had an extensive screening tour. More information about the film and about Eileen’s production company, Wilma’s Wish – a name based on Eileen’s grandmother – can be found at http://www.wilmaswishes.com/, and the film can be rented or purchased online at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/blueberrysoup.