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Localism, narrative and myth.

Layard, A. and Painter, J. and Pande, P and Ramsden, H. and Fyfe, H. (2013) 'Localism, narrative and myth.', Discussion Paper. Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Swindon.


Localism, Narrative & Myth was a research project funded by the Connected Communities programme of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in 2012-2013. The project consisted of two strands of arts-based intervention research. In Wales and the South West, rather idealised and idyllic artistic interventions understandings of ‘the local’ were performed, including stories and photography at a May Day celebration, storytelling events and a photography shoot of a local choir. This prompted an often rather lyrical response by participants, identifying both the presence and the absence of 'the local'. In the North East, meanwhile, the artistic interventions were more observational of daily life, documenting in film, photography and interviews how people understand and engage with their locality. The primary reason for the distinction was the creative freedom given to the practitioners. While the scope of the project had been broadly defined, it was the creative practitioners’ imagination of the local that governed the artistic interventions. The central finding of the project is that participants could identify a, and even 'the', local in a specific area, which was often noticeable both by its presence and by its absence. This absence was both because people moved to somewhere different (though these were often younger, more affluent people, who felt that they could become local) and, more strikingly, because the public spaces in which people interact, such as shops, pubs or cafes are missing in more economically deprived areas. A lack of associational space led people to describe how ‘there is no local here’.

Item Type:Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Keywords:Local, Localism, Storytelling, Film, Photography, Arts based interventions.
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Record Created:18 Mar 2014 14:50
Last Modified:18 Mar 2014 15:37

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