Life Story Video

Saving lives through video

Family History in the Digital Age: Fine China and Lace Doilies Begone!

family history video imageLet’s be honest. Family history used to be the preserve of the maiden aunts. To hear the stories we had to suffer through best china and arm chair doilies and endless digressions on medical procedures suffered by even older and more distant relatives (or worse, totally unheard of acquaintances).

The stories would come – between polite sips of tea and in a miasma of perfume and powder. As a means of enlisting the interest of the younger generations, it didn’t have a lot going for it.

Today’s younger generations are more interested in family history than ever before. The whole country is. But they are demanding that those maiden aunts (and all the rest of us who fulfill the function of family historian) get with the times. They want their family history accessible and they want it compelling. Read the rest of this entry »


Filed under: DIY Tips & Advice, family history video,

WWII Survivor: Life Story Video Memorial

Volodymyr Szafranowycz survived the worst that the 20th Century could serve up. He is now dead; a troubled death in many ways – but who complains when death comes in their 80s? His family recorded the details of this 20th Century life in a life story video memorial. A video memorial whose value is now assured by the disappearance and eternal inaccessibility of its subject.

video memorial subject image

WWII Survivor Volodymyr Szafranowycz

The 20th Century was one of the ugliest in all of human history. Nations rose and fell, wars and revolutions were fought, and there was starvation and genocide – to say nothing of economic collapse and the threat of nuclear Armageddon. More than a few still alive among us suffered through much of this maelstrom. And some, like Volodymyr Szafranowycz – who survived the Nazis and more – have had video memorials erected to their passing.

Bloodiest Century
Was the 20th Century the bloodiest in all of humanity’s experience? Based on the sheer and absolute volume of death recorded, the answer has to be yes. The numbers are so staggering as to be incomprehensible. But is it really as Stalin once said: “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic”? For those who swam in the violent waters of the 20th Century, who came close to death themselves or who had loved ones die, there is tragedy aplenty in that million. And even more tragedy in the millions more who also perished. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Biographies, ,

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This blog features stories about ordinary people and their experiences with life story videos.
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June 2011
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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke

Memory is the mother of all wisdom.

If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.
Carl Jung

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director.
Alfred Hitchcock

The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.
William Blake

Success is like death. The more successful you become, the higher the houses in the hills get and the higher the fences get.
Kevin Spacey