“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” – Gwendolyn Fairfax, in The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde
The first ‘movement’ of the inaugural Symphony of Awkward was conducted last Thursday evening at the Urban Writers House under the baton of Stayci Taylor, Kim Munro, and Peta Murray. This project, supported by seed-funding from non/fictionLab, drew eight contributors, all of whom had ransacked their personal archives to unearth something mortifying for the occasion. Family photos, teenage diaries, and travel journals were among the stashes and sources mined and shared in quest of traces of our pre-formed selves.
The group will meet again before the end of May to discuss and to refine research possibilities, but several avenues are already apparent. These include work on digital vs analogue archives, questions of the gendered nature of diary-keeping, notions of seeing and re-seeing, considerations of the developing artistic ‘eye’ and ‘voice’, and a further tantalising research strand around the study of Girlhood Hair Styles Through The Ages.