The Carmelina Project is a Family History Video and Online Platform that documents for posterity the Manrara-Gastón family ancestry, life in Cuba and exile to the United States. The Project is based on the memories of Carmelina Gastón, the matriarch of the Manrara-Gastón family and other members of the family. Through the lens of Carmelina we are offered a window into the bygone era of her life in Cuba before the Revolution.
The Cuban Revolution altered lives and lifestyles as well as social and cultural norms. The Carmelina project is an innovative anthropological approach to rescue the history of a generation displaced by social and historical events, and how that generation left a legacy of family customs that lives on today.
Cultural Anthropology, the study of human groups and social organization, is usually associated with written ethnographies. Visual Anthropology uses photography, film and other visual resources. In the Carmelina Project we take anthropology to a new level by introducing new digital technologies. The Project’s Online Digital Platform created using Artificial Intelligence tools houses the Manrara and Gastón family trees allowing users to explore their family tree, view family photos, personal documents, historical archives, and additional video clips. The Project’s Online Web Platform and the Video become a multi-format Interactive Platform.
Museums and cultural heritage organizations are incorporating innovative techniques and digital platforms to expand digital curation and new preservation strategies. Carmelina and her family members’ recollections document, interpret, and preserve a family’s genealogy, history, customs, and evolution through time and places. The Carmelina Project offers a multi-generational window into the family and rescues the memory of a generation through Carmelina’s experience.