Hannah May:

Hannah May
Media Arts & Sciences major
My work focuses on experimental documentary and, more specifically, personal narrative. In my videos I play with camera angles and still shots in order to intimately investigate microcosms of larger spaces. While I use different editing and auditory styles in each video, I focus on sound and my voice as a story-telling device. I manipulate diegetic and non-diegetic noises to create compelling and layered soundscapes. The largest influence in my work is my family. As a descendent of Holocaust survivors, I am especially interested in exploring intergenerational connection, memory, and trauma. Questions that guide me are: How do women exist privately in our bodies? What can experimental documentaries be? Who has a right to tell their story? To what extent can any story be authentic?
Any Ordinary Life
desaturated film still of a dorm room; at right, shoulder of a person; at left, profile of a person looking to the right

Any Ordinary Life is a 12:56 minute narrative video which features shots of my dorm room interspersed with title screens and archival footage of my Grandmother, leftover from a previous project. Each image of my room is gray-scaled and serves to highlight life at its most quiet, intimate, and soft moments. In contrast, the highly saturated footage of my Grandmother stands out starkly, referencing her bright memory in my mind. The rhythmic, raw voice-over functions as a meditation, mimicking the flow of grief and acceptance. Three women are emobided in the space of this video, and I question how these bodies interact with each other.

saturated film still of a woman in a pink sweater with white hair at left rummaging in a full bookcase
yellow background with white text in various sizes reading: I TAKE LONG WALKS BECAUSE IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I'M GOING SOMEWHERE