100 people: a portrait of co-ordination and co-existence
Do you live, work, rest, or play in Shieldfield?
If so, artist Andrew Wilson invites you to contribute to his forthcoming project which will support up to one hundred people tell a complex and collaborative story of Shieldfield; it’s past, it’s present and its possible future!
What is 100 people?
100 people is an experimental approach to film-making which will co-create a multi-voiced video portrait of Shieldfield. It aims to do this by supporting the many diverse people who live, work and play here to both identify and articulate the stories and desires which shape this neighbourhood.
Between May – November 2022, with support from the many existing groups and organisations, this project will host a range of opportunities to find and record stories and portraits with people who live or work here. These recordings will then go on to form;
a) an exhibition at Shieldfield Art Works in October 2022
b) a feature film that will be relased in March 2023
c) a community archive of recorded material that will be owned and managed by Dwellbeing Shieldfield
Who can get Involved?
If you live or work or play in Shieldfield you can contribute to this project as one of the 100 co-contributors to the project.
We are open to working with the widest range of people as possible welcoming a wide mix of age, gender, ethnicity and economic or cultural backgrounds and experience.
To get involved, or find out more, you can keep an eye out for our events programme and opportunities over the coming months. Or, If you would like to contact Andrew directly, to ask a question or propose an idea, you can do so at: email@example.com
Some ideas could be;
-Perhaps you have a story you’d like to tell?
-Perhaps you would like to hear and record somebody else’s story?
-Perhaps you like to attend a workshop to understand how to do that?
-Perhaps you’d like to have a recorded conversation with someone very different from yourself?
-Perhaps you have some video footage that you’d like to share at a screening event? (VHS home video, TikTok, whatever).
-Perhaps you’d like to simply be kept updated on all future events?
-Perhaps you have something else in mind? (we’d love to hear it)
Where, when, and how does it happen?
All dates tbc, but our schedule will include the following:
May : Archive Training workshop for Dwellbeing Shieldfield members and other people within the community.
May: Deliver a series of Workshops with The Shieldfield Youth Programme co-creating a playful book of conversation starters.
June: Archive Screenings in partnership with North East Film Archive.
June: Two-day Recording event at Shieldfield Art Works; an opportunity for you to interview fellow residents on camera, people who are very different to you (intergenerational, cross-cultural, etc).
Oct: 100 people Exhibition at Shieldfield Art Works.
Nov: The Exhibition will host Public Forum events on the many themes that emerge.
March : 100 people Feature Film will be screened to a public audience.
What are the ideas behind it?
Like many neighbourhoods across the UK, Shieldfield is home to many people whose lives differ considerably. As this area has moved beyond its industrial roots, as its pubs and social clubs have closed, a diverse mix of people with very differing social needs have moved in and in response, several peer-led initiatives have emerged including (among others) a volunteer-run café, an artist-led youth programme, and a community driven co-operative.
Aside from their location each of these initiatives share a driving force anchored within the values of collective co-ordination (doing stuff with, by, and for each other) as a challenge to social isolation, gentrification, and other forms of inequality or marginalisation.
So, if we identify that positive social change can result from connecting more deeply to the people around us, from co-ordinated rather than solo action, then shouldn’t this also be reflected in how we access and articulate our stories?
Maybe so, but what if we are not very good at it?
In her 2019 essay When the hero is the problem writer and thinker Rebecca Solnit states:
‘We are not very good at telling stories about a hundred people doing things’
Solnit observes that the majority of stories we hear tend to focus on one single person doing one big thing … and that our novels, our news, our cinema, and our history are all dominated by these tales of individual success.
What might the consequences be when we push one single-person to the front?
What might be hidden in their large shadow?
Whose story gets left behind?
The challenge for this project – to articulate a collective story of 100 people doing many different things – is unsurprisingly complicated.
For all of the activity here in Shiledfield there is no singular spokesperson, no figurehead, no hero, and as such it is a story that remains difficult to tell.
But what if we tried?
Who is involved?
Shieldfield Art Works: a developer of artist-led projects, events, exhibitions, workshops, and publications with a longstanding commitment to provide space and resources to their local community.
Dwellbeing Shieldfield: a community benefit society/co-op led by residents to support community members of all ages and backgrounds to play an active role in Shieldfield.
Shieldfield Youth Programme: a youth centred programme of activity developed by Dwellbeing and The NewBridge Project in response to the current lack of youth provision in the area.
North East Film Archive: a charitable archive of amateur and professional filmmakers documenting life in the North East for over 130 years.
Ali Atkinson Philips: Dwellbeing Shieldfield Steward and public historian Ali is a familiar face who will support archive development/training for residents.
Dan Russell: an artist who works across visual art, music, design, & socially-engaged practice, Dan will support the workshops with the Shieldfield Youth Programme.
Evripidis Karydis: documentary filmmaker Evripidis will provide technical support with all aspects of filming throughout the project.
Ceitidh Mac: cellist & vocalist Ceitidh will compose a soundscape in response to her interaction with the project, the area, and the many people involved.
Andrew Wilson is an artist who regularly works in collaboration with many other individuals, groups and organisations. A studio holder at The NewBridge Project he has previously worked with Shieldfield Art Works in 2018-19 on a collaborative event and video making residency called NorthEast Enders and, alongside others, in 2019 he co-initiated the Shieldfield Community Cup.