Thanks to Ovalhouse, the Arts Council and private funders, we had our first proper development period on our collaboration with The Black Smock Band: an undertaking which emerged from our East storytelling project but which seems to be taking on a life of its own. Temporarily known as The Radical History Project, it looks at the texts, oral and musical, left behind by our radical forbears and the mythology of English radicalism they created, while also searching out contemporary and local stories of struggle. We had a very productive week – well, it’d be shameful not, given the incredible wealth of material we have to work with. Our research so far has focused on the Diggers movement, but since we were working just yards away from where the Chartists gathered, we looked at them and at the challenges facing the area today. In fact, a modern-day version of the enclosures is taking place, with social housing being replaced by private developments.
The end-of-week sharing at Ovalhouse cafe seemed to go down well. There was even some dancing. And lots of helpful feedback – thanks everyone!
The team was Alex Swift, Andy Bannister, Dan Cox, John Bryden, Rhiannon Kelly and Paul Burgess.
We’re still sorting out the documentation but, in the meantime, here’s a photo (credit: Kanatip Soonthornrak). And the project will be back for further research and development soon…