A new interactive web documentary produced by graduate students in Dublin examines two centuries of people leaving Ireland.
‘Emigration Isle’ explores pivotal periods of Irish emigration through four individual true-life stories of Irish immigrants.
The stories of Margaret Delaney (Cork to New South Wales, 1824), brother and sister Joseph and Fanny Walsh (Mayo to America, 1894), Steve Beatty (Claddagh Galway to Coventry, 1939) and Anne Carey (Belfast to Canada, 1975) are shared through an interactive map of statistics and pictures.
Unlike a traditional video documentary, the website uses multimedia tools to offer readers an interactive storyline about the four emigrants.
“When people say ‘documentary,’ they think of the traditional radio and video format, but this is more unchartered territory where the web allows viewers to interact with the story,” Roxanne Mauck, project manager of the website, told IrishCentral.
“As opposed to a static film documentary, we wanted to take a topic that is very popular and add a more personal interactive element to it,” she said.
Users can learn about the who, what, when, where, why and how of each emigrant through the exploration of photography, audio files and interactive elements.
While exploring, users can also learn about world facts, economic and social conditions in each individual’s era.
The project is the work of Dublin Institute of Technology students Colin Gough, project programmer, Roxanne Mauck, project manager, and Irene Walsh, project designer.
The group of master’s students hope to expand the project by profiling the story of one Irish emigrant per decade from 1813-2013. They are currently seeking funding to aid the development of their website.
Mauck, who is originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia, explained how Tourism Ireland’s The Gathering initiative, which aims to attract more than 300,000 visitors to Ireland in 2013, was the perfect backdrop for their project.
“We thought The Gathering would be a good platform for our project as there are lots of people abroad actively seeking information about their heritage,” Mauck told IrishCentral.