ONLY WHEN WE ARE OLD AND WISE,
CAN WE SEE THE POETRY IN MEMORY. — DeYoung Zhou
PROJECT TITLE: Memory Community Movie-Memoir = MCM-M
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
To create an accessible resource that:
- helps our elders, baby-boomers tell their stories
- connects the young and the old
- increases our understanding of those before us who help us be who we are
- honors the generations before us and show our appreciation by preserving their memories
WHY WE DO THIS
Celebrities publish biographies to tell their stories. What about ordinary people? They should have memoirs too. This is because everyone has a story and because our sense of history is enriched by hearing about the life experiences of everyday people. The senior population is growing rapidly, but is often neglected and regarded as having nothing more to contribute to society. In fact, many of them have untold and fascinating stories, and this project aims to encourage them to share so that the generations after them can benefit from this priceless and vast reservoir of knowledge.
I have long been interested in working with elders, especially those who are disadvantaged and have very few resources. Although I have a long history in film-making, I regret not taking enough time to record my own parents’ stories because I was too busy and kept putting it off. Like my parents, many of our elders do not feel their stories are worth telling and do not feel comfortable displaying their emotions in front of a camera. However, I have found this population to be very eager to share and pass on their life experiences, if only we are willing to ask and listen. Since the passing of my mother in 2007, my desire to collect life stories from our elders has intensified, and I am now dedicating my time, energy and skills to help preserve memories and family histories for our elders, their families, and our communities.
Our senior population is growing rapidly and becoming increasingly diverse. We strive to serve anyone, including minority and immigrant groups, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Everyone has a story worth documenting, whether it is for the purpose of making a personal memoir, leaving a family legacy, or for educational purposes. We hope this project will also help strengthen generational relationships, because interactions between the old and the young are mutually beneficial.
Chinese people have a saying: every elder is a treasure. Let’s treasure memories of our elders!
DeYoung’s future plan is to expand Memory Community into Memory Country — http://memorycountry.org/