Initially my research proposal was geared towards a different subject of research; in that I wanted to involve my visual project around injured soldiers going through and leaving the rehabilitation process.
The inspiration for this occurred, out of coincidence or not, after I had been to the 2012 Remembrance Sunday service next to the River Trent, Nottingham. Having been in discussion with my Father, an Army Officer, I fleshed out some ideas with him and he signalled that he was able to help.
Over the next few months I got in contact with Lt. Colonel Barry Short who would be my point of contact with regards to this project which included meetings where the rehabilitation process was outlined. Below is my research proposal to the potential subjects/collaborators of my film:
Visual Project Proposal
- I am a Social Anthropology Student at the University of Kent, aiming to make a 10 minute ‘video short’/documentary for one of the modules I am taking.
- The current aim of this project is to give an insight into the sentiments of injured soldiers currently in the on-going process of rehabilitation, a more personal look which is often missed in many documentaries on this subject. I hope to find out the hopes and fears for the future of these soldiers when the venture outside of the environment of the Armed forces and have to reintegrate into “civi-street”.
- My motivations for making this film have been an interest in how soldiers overcome physical hardship and adapt having left such an all-encompassing environment like the Army which for many is part of their identity and has created strong camaraderie and friendships.
- Further motivations have come from my own upbringing as son of an Army officer and my observations of seeing soldiers and their dependents as a community in its own right, distinct from society at large.
- The specific interviewees have yet to be fully decided on but I hope to conduct interviews with;
- Soldiers in the rehab process.
- Soldiers who have left the process and are now out in everyday society.
- Personal Recovery Officers who are responsible for a number of individuals in the recovery process and are a sort of mentor to them as such.
- The setting of these interviews will mostly be at one or more of the PRCs (Personal Recovery Centres) around the UK (most likely the Colchester centre).
- If it’s possible I would also like to have some footage of the physical rehabilitation process and possibly general group conversation between soldiers, which might give more of an insight than the formalised setting of an interview.
- The content of these interviews will include questions such as:
- Background a little about the individuals past (army and civilian)
- Their experience of the rehab process
- Enduring friendships/contact with their unit/comrades?
- New friendships within the centres/new camaraderie
- Hopes and fears for the future once the rehab process is over.
- I will not touch upon the event, as asked, which caused any physical or mental trauma while in the field, because I understand the sensitivities of this particular aspect.
- My points of access to the subjects of my film (the soldiers) are Lt. Col. Barry Short and WO2 James Tomlinson . I have met with Lt. Col. Short and he has outlined in detail the whole recovery process, which the returning soldiers traverse through.
However after much planning, and researching I was given some bad news. I knew the most likely blockade in the path of making this film would have been authorisation, however I was given reassurances that this would not be the case. Unfortunately around late February I was given the ‘no go’ on these exact grounds despite the subjects agreeing to be filmed. So I had to hastily prepare an alternative project….