End of an era – start of the next

Just reached the end of an era – after four and half years my RELAYS contract with Watershed has come to an end. It’s the longest project I’ve worked on and one of the longest for Watershed too. I’d never intended to work on a sport themed topic with young people but sometimes these things work out pretty well and Continue reading

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It’s Watershed’s 30th birthday…

… and after looking at the photographs of 30 years-worth of Watershed’s monthly programme covers on Facebook I realised that I’ve had connections with this Bristol cultural landmark for 25 years of those three decades. These programmes seemed a good vehicle for reflecting on the journey we’ve been on together and the role we’ve played in each others’ lives. Continue reading

It’s Electric December time – a personal reflection and celebration!

Every Electric December I have ever worked on, 2003 – 2006, + 2008!

Today is the launch of Watershed’s online advent-style calendar Electric December. Though I’ve only been involved in ED indirectly this year I’ve had various connections with the project for a long time so thought I’d add a post about this now fondly anticipated feature of Bristol’s cultural landscape! Continue reading

Watershed: Part-time employment

relays_header_blueredFor 2 days a week I’m the Development Co-ordinator for ‘RELAYS at Watershed’ – a SW Cultural Olympiad project organised by Universities SW and focused on activities for young people. Watershed’s contribution to this programme is to work with young people in a range of settings to create projects that explore the meeting of sport and media/culture.

Activities I’ve been involved with over the last year include a short film project Short Cuts, Media Literacy Workshops for schools – just starting to plan these for 2012 – and a citizen journalism project that’s leading up to taking a group of young people to the Olympic sailing and cultural events that will be taking place in Weymouth in 2012. I’m also covering the developing phases of this citizen journalism project in a blog.

Here’s an audio slideshow that gives a flavour of the Media Literacy strand of this project and demonstrates the enthusiasm that can be sparked in teenagers when you put them into a new setting with some interesting challenges and stimulating people! I took the photographs and recorded the audio during the series of workshops we ran in 2009 with local secondary schools and put them together in Soundslides to help promote future workshops to schools in the Bristol area. The workshops were led by David Goldblatt and assisted by volunteer production staff from the BBC.

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‘Eighteen Summers’ – European Digital Storytelling Workshop, Watershed

Digital project it may have been but due to EU funding, multiple paper documents had to be sent back and forth, but that did result in a lovely stamp collection!

Digital project it may have been but due to EU funding, multiple paper documents had to be sent back and forth, but that did result in a lovely stamp collection!

What is digital storytelling?

Once upon a time we sat around the fire and told each other stories, now “young or old” we can do it with computers. We call this Digital Storytelling and it’s made possible by the new tools of media production. Daniel Meadows, BBC Capture Wales.

In the early 1990s Joe Lambert and Dana Atchley were experimenting to combine multimedia
and autobiographical performance in a theatre company in Berkeley California, USA.
Explorations about how personal narrative and storytelling could relate to and make use of the
emerging new digital media tools led to the development of the digital storytelling process and
the founding of the Center for Digital Storytelling.

Now, Digital Storytelling usually refers to a form of short, personal narrative told in the first
person, and presented as a short movie for display on a television or computer screen for
viewing in the home with friends and family or for anyone to see across the globe on the
internet.

Everybody has a story to tell and each story will have value and interest for others as well as for
the maker. Digital Storytelling is a process that allows an individual to create a short film using
personal archive material, such as photographs, and your own life experiences.
See also, Bristol Stories and Capture Wales.

Stories are equipment for living. Kenneth Burke, American literary critic.

I organised and was co-facilitator (with Clodagh Miskelly and Paddy Uglow) on an EU-funded digital storytelling workshop for older European learners from eleven different countries at Watershed where we assisted participants in making stories about their 18th summer. The fourteen stories created in the workshop can be viewed here.

Women’s Photography Group projects

Falling bodies poster for buses in Bristol

Falling bodies poster for buses in Bristol

For several years in the early 1990s I was a member of the Bristol Women’s photography group which developed out of a course run at Watershed in 1987 called Women’s Exhibition Photography run by Nancy Honey.

This course gave me the opportunity to explore a completely new direction in what I was doing with photography and resulted in a group exhibition with the other participants at Continue reading