North End Chronicles

Natalia Tsarkova

Glorianna Davenport
Research Supervisor

The North End Chronicles is a close-up view of an American-Italian community in the heart of Boston. Presented on the World Wide Web, it can be experienced as a collection of intimate portraits, or as a story of one neighborhood striving to preserve its identity and traditions in a rapidly changing urban landscape.

The project began in a popular North End cafe where local resauranteurs, unemployed actors, local personalities, and various shady characters dringk spiked espresso and swap stories.

Later, the filmmaker moved from superficial "type" portraits to a deeper exploration of how a local institution, the cafe, creates a normative culture.

The audience navigates the 60 short vignettes using a dynamic collage interface which echoes the vibrant experience of strolling down streets in the North End.

This content used Mike Murtaugh's ConTour and Dexter systems.

Tsarkova N (1996).
Dynamic Collage: An Interface for Digital Stories
MIT MS Thesis.