‘A community is only as strong as the stories it tells about itself.’
I love this quote from Tarell Alvin McCraney, the writer of award-winning film, Moonlight. It typifies much of my work, no more so than the community storytelling I’ve done for Forever Manchester.
Forever Manchester’s approach to community development is about making connections, building on what’s already there and taking the red tape from funding people and projects. Telling real stories that are accessible to all is also a big part.
I not only compiled stories myself but – through blogging workshops and one-to-one support – helped people build the confidence to tell their own community stories. Working with a web designer I set up WordPress blogging platforms for each location and taught participants how to upload their own work.
Here’s what one community organiser in Ardwick said of my work: “You captured us in a way that was lovely and honest. Thank you so much for your positivity and time.” Ah, thank you.
Here are some examples from the Hand & Heart blog for Ardwick: