The act of talking is very powerful, but let’s make a distinction between talking together and commenting. The world is full of commentators, but much better than commenting is the vital exchange of ideas stimulated by real life stories.
This week I will be spending some time in Skipton as part of a Yorkshire Housing project called Let’s Talk. The idea is that the residents of the estate can be encouraged to talk about the place they live. What’s good about it, what could be improved and, importantly, stories about positive action.
The best kinds of conversation are often between people who would never normally choose to talk with each other – people who’s experience and outlook are quite different. In the last couple of years I have been involved in projects to get conversations going. “Can We Talk About This?“ was a conversation with teenage boys about sexual exploitation in Sheffield – a subject we rarely acknowledge let alone discuss. In Leeds we filmed a series of “conversation dinners” with a large housing association.
Here in the Skipton project we are generating conversations though combination of filmed interviews and associated events where where the films are shown and discussed. We’re also organising a photo walk, talk and eat event. A range of people from the community will be walking along set routes and encouraged to take photos and talk together.
If you are in the Skipton area, particularly The Greatwood Estate please spread the word and maybe download the poster. May see you there on the 20th.