In 2007 I was commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) to engage people in six neighbourhoods across Britain in participatory arts activity exploring the challenges of life in their communities. The commission accompanied a major JRF funded, three year academic study entitled 'Living Through Change in Challenging Neighbourhoods' undertaken by the Centre for Regional and Economic Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University. This study examined the changing circumstances and experiences of households living in six relatively deprived neighbourhoods across Britain, and sought to understand the experiences and perceptions of people in low income households.
Participatory activities included photographic projects, audio recordings and film-making. The resulting material was shown within the communities concerned and presented alongside the formal research in a range of contexts.
My experience on this project provided a case study for a paper I wrote for the journal 'People, Povery and Place Online' entitled 'Giving Voice,`Taking Pictures: participatory documentary and visual research'. The full text of the paper can be found HERE.
Photograph by a member of the Hillywood After School Club
'Communities Under Pressure'
An exhibition of 'Living Through Change' project artwork held at New London Architecture, The Building Centre, London. 16th June - 15th July 2011
The exhibition was accompanied by a policy seminar with four guest speakers at which the final JRF report was launched.
Guardian Coverage of the exhibition can be viewed HERE and HERE
'What is happening to our community'
A self-published 160 page book produced to showcase the 'Living Through Change' project work, explore the underlying social issues and reveal the range of creative and research approaches employed across the six study areas.
The book was exhibited alongside the project work at New London Architecture and 60 copies were distributed by the JRF alongside the final study results to ministers, academics and others.
'what is happening to our community' - imagery and commentary from six challenging neighbourhoods - published June 2011
West Kensington, London
'they'll destroy the community'
This short film explores residents thoughts concerning plans to redevelop an area of West Kensington as part of the rebuilding of Earls Court.
This clip is taken from the 60 minute film 'Crossing Paths: Life Along The North End Road' which documents life in this changing area of West London through resident commentary, photography and filmmaking.
'they'll destroy the community' 4m 28s
Hillside Estate, North Huyton
After a number of years in decline, Hillside, along with other nearby estates, was included in a major redevelopment programme which began in 2004 and involved the decanting of residents, clearance and rebuilding. Repeated delays in the programme resulted in partial clearance and dereliction alongside newly built properties often occupied by incomers.
Resident's Photography Project
Photographs by local residents and members of the Hillywood after school club and the Hillywood youth club, Hillside, North Huyton.
Click on the image to open the work.
Captioned photograph by Hillside resident
Hillside Photo Narratives
Image and text based narratives exploring the impact of the redevelopment on the local environment.