What is 5 Postcards?
5 Postcards is a mailart project started by Sue Smedley and Andy Hoang initially as part of an education course. The original idea was to use postcards to illustrate 5 memorable incidents that happened to student teachers who were studying with us as a means of reflection on the learning experience.
The use of postcards challenged students to articulate themselves in a different way than they were used to, and subsequently the images that were produced showed a different level of reflection. Instead of struggling to get the right words, some students described very succinctly the incidents that had shaped their lives through visual images and juxtapositions, utilising icons and colour to effectively convey not just the details of the incidents but the emotions associated with them.
The number of postcards was very important to the project too. 3 postcards was too few incidents to really give a balanced reflective account of school, but 7 would have been overkill. 5 was just right.
We were so taken aback by the results that the two of us decided that it would be really interesting to expand the project so that anyone in the world could contribute their formative years. It seemed that so many of us have a great story to tell about school, so we wanted to hear it.
Our initial project is to open the School Experiences theme to everyone, and to collect your 5 postcard memories. We think that everyone has a memory of school or 5 that they can express to the world.
We intend to introduce new themes at some point, most probably every 5 weeks as we think that the reflective process can be applied to other topics too.