Audio Interviews

This past week I have been editing the audio clips of the interviews we conducted. We asked ten KCL students a handful of questions including what they knew about no platforming, if they thought it was a problem for free speech and also their opinions on a few different ‘controversial’ figures – Germaine Greer, Tony Blair and Donald Trump.

Originally we were planning to interview more students but I quickly realised that we already had too much material for the time we had allotted to the interview segment. I had about an hour of audio to edit down to four minutes – quite a long task already, and unfortunately I had to leave out some of the questions I’d originally intended to include, which was a shame.

Germain Greer was no platformed by Goldsmiths University because of transphobic views. John Bercow essentially suggested no platforming Trump recently and although Tony Blair hasn’t been no platformed to my knowledge, it is not hard to imagine that in certain spaces, he would be a hugely controversial figure. Many people do think that his actions regarding Iraq mean he no longer has a place in any debate – which is the kind of point of view that goes to the core of no platforming.

I designed these questions and chose these people because I was interested in where our interviewees would ‘draw the line’ in terms of who to know platform and who to not. At which point would someones views because so unacceptable that they don’t deserve a platform? We ended by asking people if they would no platform someone overtly racist. My hunch was that THIS would be where the ‘line’ would be. Inevitably, the answers were much more varied and nuanced then I might had expected.

We were not interested only in ‘yes or no’ answers, but wanted to hear peoples opinions (and voices!). Now it is edited, I am pleased with the finished result because it represents a very wide spectrum of opinions of the issue. I think it will make a good start to our presentation because it will introduce the audience to the issue and as cope of opinions on it very quickly – but hopefully in a more engaging way then us simply describing them.

Week begin. 6/03

In between last week’s meeting and this week’s meeting, each group member had gone away and researched for their section of the group project. This was to ensure that by this week’s meeting, we could all contribute and fill in the gaps to make sure that our project was interdisciplinary instead of multidisciplinary or disconnected.

In Thursday’s meeting, we began to formulate an argument and structure for the presentation. Our presentation will be looking at the voice of UKIP leader Nigel Farage, through his speeches pre- and post-Brexit and consider whether it is the context that allowed his voice to become powerful, or if it is what he is saying that has given him a platform to speak, or if it is a combination of both the context and Farage. In order to do this, we will look at the historical, political and geographical context in order to set the stage for a closer analysis of the speech. Georgina will be analysing the speech through the lens of philosopher Aristotle, whilst Merrick is going to look at the rhetoric and language of the speech as well as the media and communication which Farage used during the Brexit campaign.

I think, now that we all know more about what we are doing, we felt a lot more confident than we did before by the end of the meeting. Merrick also showed the group how “Prezi” works, which we think will work well for the project, as it shows how everything connects and will hopefully ensure that everything flows well. Our next step is to start putting a working script together, and we are meeting again next week (before the run through on the 20th with Sophie).

Meeting Notes from Week Begin. 27/02

Next steps for our group:

Finalise the selection of speeches

Complete our own individual research

Meet next week as a group and consolidate our ideas within our presentation

Potential Structure for our Presentation:

Context

1. Historical

2. Geographical

3. Close analysis Literary, Classical

4. Bibliography

In the upcoming two weeks [completed by the 20th March]: start writing up the presentation.

For the presentation itself: choice of doing a powerpoint: Best to use. If we don’t then the structure is really important. 5 mins each. Gives structure to what you’re saying.

Not too much text, use to clarify what you’re saying, support what you’re saying. Visuals. Pictures of Farage??

Keeping pace and focusing audience.

Mixture of images and quote from speech.

Conclusion.

What they say together. Interdisciplinary focus. Think about broad outline: list of key themes. What we’re aiming for.

Have the information and the analysis by when we meet on:

Wednesday 8th, 2pm– Liberal Arts common room/ maughan- book a room.

Next meeting with Sophie March 20th at 9am – a week before the presentation (need to have written by then). Trial run for speech.

Primary Sources:

Speeches:

2013 speech (http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2013/09/nigel-farages-speech-full-text-and-audio)

Immigration speech just before referendum (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k422Kc-9DE&t=336s)

Victory speech (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLCb1cGROAw)

Interdisciplinary focus – Looking at the where and when (Geography and History context) versus who (close analysis of what Nigel Farage is saying) in order to understand how Farage and Brexit were given a platform to speak and be heard→ benefit of being interdisciplinary is the ability to understand and consider these different factors.

Voice Group B- Reflection for Week 2 begin. 30/1

Following the previous meeting on Friday, the group had looked at speeches in which they would like to possibly study for the meeting on Monday. Interestingly, a few members in the group had decided that an interesting study topic would be one of the many speeches in Donald Trump’s election campaign. We discussed Donald Trump’s use of voice in his speeches: his own powerful use of voice and his suppression of minority voices.

The discussion in the meeting surrounded how Trump’s political rise to fame, and eventual election, may have its origin in the suppression of the minority voice, and amplifying the majority voice. This is evidenced in a YouTube video of a campaign speech that Trump gave in Wisconsin which appeals to the majority voice through his promise to represent their repressed voices in politics again. Trump therefore creates a powerful voice for himself by pledging to make his voice a compilation of the voices of those who see themselves as disenfranchised. It is interesting, however, that Trump tries to include the voice of the minority here by the repeated mention of African American and other minority groups (a possible response to previous criticism of his treatment of minorities). The video can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdVwZlhQjHU.

As this is an interdisciplinary project, it is an amazing and unique opportunity to draw on many expertise to create a project that benefits from interdisciplinary collaboration. We must therefore be mindful that we collaborate in an interdisciplinary way, rather than a multidisciplinary way, to ensure that the project is not just a sum of our expertise, but creates something that is better for the collaboration.

During the meeting, the group decided that a good way to communicate ideas outside group meetings was through GoogleDocs, which allows everyone in the group to edit a single document. We have shared ideas on here and this document will allow us to fine tune our ideas in the coming weeks. We are meeting again on Monday 6th February, an important opportunity to pull our ideas together.