sobota, 27 listopada 2010

2/3 of the way through

The majority is behind us, but still I'm doing new things.
Firstly I describe that what I should have described long time ago...

During my visit here I sit in in the lecture From Muybridge to Murch...a brief examination of technological advancements in film's history. It's an introduction to certain aspects in the study of film and its history.

I work regularly with The Cultural Sisters, who are the creative, visual and participatory arts organisation. I think their work I can compare with polish organisation - Laboratorium Edukacji Twórczej.
When I saw their studio it made an impression on me, thousands of arts material, they have everything!
Their mainly tool in their work is preparing costumes, but they also use different kinds of art.

In the Monday evening we have workshop with children, when we do many different thinks using art. More important for me is our Wednesday workshop about mental health (how take care of mental health). It's so interesting, because I have possibility to see how introduce children in the serious subject.

Get Talking

I also took part in the final of Get Talking, I was shooting and now the material is waiting to be edited.  Ola W. wrote more about this course.

What's more? The most important think in the last days for me was the exhibition "Small is beautiful".

On this exhibition  you can see my, Ola W. and Julianna's photography. It's only one of things which we made with Tony Jones. I wrote about his course in which I and Ola W. took part. First part was about exposure and other technician's things, the second was about composition. But I hope it's not the end of our cooperation, we have more common plans.

The World Cafe

It's another project in which I took part with Ola W. The World Cafe is a really simple tool which can be used by people wanting to involve others in conversation and dialogue. People are invited to an informal cafe for a drink and chat, they sitting in small groups around a table, but every 20-30 minutes people change places and  continue to discuss the issue.


środa, 24 listopada 2010

time's running

To start with the very current event: today there was a celebration of the final session of Speaking Up course. And that was the last session of the last course that I was taking part from the beginning of October (and now I am looking forward to the first sessions of 'Making it Happen' - another course run by CCU, dedicated for cummunity artists).
Last week I saw the presentations of Volunteering and Get Talking students and I had my own small presentation as a part of Getting Communities Involved course. That was a possibility to listen a bit more about braod volunteering experiances and The Big Talk's projects invented by members of My Health Matters. I have my little contribution to one of these projects: I spent one day in the local school (Bentilee), where two students are going to renovate the school garden. They were interviewing parents and school's staff looking for volunteers. We had also short lessons for each class. I was taking pictures.

The presentation about this project and the other about community consultations were also the possibility to work together with Ola O. Not for the first time, to be honest. Ola helps me recording interviewing Get Talking lecturers and the previous Get Talking student that want to share their experinces.  As the result I have a material with Penny and Kate from CCU, the REACH member, the local community developement worker, the outreach worker from The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery and all the leaders of My Health Matters.

Our (my, Ola's and Jula's) placements "cross each other" as the last paragraph shows. I try to support workshops for YPTC that Jula described in one of the posts. With Ola O., we took part in very special visit in Wightwick Manor (National Trust). It was organised as a part od Heritage2Health: "The project developed from an initiative into wellbeing and health that was partnered with WestFocus Health Network, the Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences, Kingston University and St George's University" as the website says... Staffordshire Univeristy is sharing the ideas and practise with mentioned institutions. We were in Walverhampton in very diverse group of lecturers, students, volunteers and people with learning disabilities. We were guided around the manor and than we had time to do some art activities like taking pictures and scatching. The results of my job are partly presented in School of Arts in Burslem, where there is the Photographers' Collective of North Staffordshire exhibition ("Small is beautiful") that invited us three to join.

I am getting more and more familiar with London, where I spent the next weekend, I visited also Liverpool - I do most of important places in 'Midlands' area...


piątek, 12 listopada 2010

Lost and found

                Islands made by ESOL group participants during one of the workshops.
With the ESOL group we created imaginary islands with their's own rules, in order to explore new-Lost-Boys stories.   

For the last three weeks with YPTC we created stories around objects. We were taking about situations when we were lost or we lost something. From those two ideas we came to a point when we are telling stories from a perspective of precious things that we've lost.
Just as we can loose our treasured possessions, perhaps our possessions loose us. Maybe objects can also feel an absence of their proprietors...

On Friday October 29th we changed into witches, the undead, Frankenstein's monster and co. and we went to scare children in Bentilee Neighbourhood Centre
We had dark and eerie fun...

For three weeks Sue has been working with Emma and Kyle on Yizkor performance. They created a moving, touching, affecting peace of theatre. 
During this time I was reading about the holocaust, the porajmos,  Auschwitz, "Żegota" and it made me a bit depressed.
Over last week we started our tour, we visited 4 schools and met around 450 kids. During workshops we talked about the eight stages of genocide, rules for humanity, inner strength, trust and responsibility.

I went to London again. This time I visited friend in Dulston, and one in Brixton. I spent some time on a river bank and in the City. I met my auntie and my cousin. 

I went to see Life of Riley in which my flat mate took part.
We went with Olas to see contemporary dance in Regent Theatre. 

This week abound in various parties. We had Al's birthday, Bonfire, a party for volunteers, borderline's pseudo-karaoke and few after-parties.

niedziela, 7 listopada 2010

The short review of the last days

How are looking my work experiences? I think I should explain now how they are arrange. Sometimes I spend the whole day on shooting or in the office but from time to time I spend it (or a few days) with another organizations  which work in community arts. I like that days very much, because in short time I can see how the another company works. It's not possible to describe each, but for example in the last time I was in...

Ingestre Hall. Residential Arts Centre.

What's this? It's a place where pupils from schools, which are not so far, are coming for one week to have some artistic experiences. Something like our "Zielona Szkoła", but in one place and with whole-day workshops. When children not are interesting in art, they can choose similar centres, where they can learn about environment, science, history, adventure... I think something similar should be in Poland. I spend three days in Ingestre Hall and I saw how young people (about 16) were interested in workshop, how hard they worked. Each week finishes with show on the last day.

I was there with Suzanne from my work, because she made there workshops for staff about how to make animations, how to use green screen. I learned how to do this things and I helped her, but also I watched drama and dance workshop. I was impressed how they prepared it, because the effect was excellent.

Urban Vision

It's an architecture and urban design centre. They promote high quality architecture and urban design in and around the North Staffordshire. I was really happy that I can spend a day with them, because I'm interested in urban's space.

I was with them in Liverpool, and we saw how to connect the new architecture with monuments, how shop's gallery should look, the possibilities of including green areas into urban's space.

Together with Ola W.:

Photographic workshop:

We took part in the photographic workshop, which was prepared by Tony Jones. We helped and watched on. I'm sure I will have possibility to write something more about it, because I'm planning to go on it one more time.

Tour of cultural venues in Stoke-on-Trent

Paul Bailey prepared for us the fantastic day. We was in two really important cultural places in Stoke-on-Trent. One of this is the Regent Theatre, where we saw backstage and the fly tower. We know now why a green room is called green, and how look like safety curtain. The second place was The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, where we was showed round. We had possibility to come back to the Regent Theatre one more time, because we got tickets for  the Rambert's Dance Company's show. It was amazing.

The great escape

English trains are really fast, comfortably, but also... expensive. Fortunately from time to time there is a very good offer in London Midlands  - you can take yourself off for just 10 pounds for a days's unlimited travel on this network. The offer is short - about one week, but often comes back. In this way I was with Ola in Birmingham and twice in London.


środa, 3 listopada 2010


I spend a lot of time attending, supporting and listening about coures run by CCU: a group about 10-15, whole day session (workshop) a few times during a semester, folder with all the materials you need (handbook, workbook, handouts...), a team work as a method of teaching and learning...

Get Talking
The very basic course for CCU. Sometimes I get the impression that everything starts with the Get Talking module... As a part of my job I investigate it's roots interviewing members of CCU's staff. The very initial version of my conversation with Kate Gant:

Kate runs the special shorter Get Talking module for members of My Health Matters. During the course they learn the Participatory Appraisal methods (that are usually illustrated by colourful notes sticked to a board)  and work on their own projects. All of them are about community consultations and improving peoples' well-being in the local area. The results before the end of November.

Volunteering sector is more and more important - as the authors of the 'Big Society' idea convince. During the first session it turned out that the most experianced member of the grup has volunteered for about half a century whilst the least experianced (it was probably me...) 1/10 of this time... At the end of every course students have to give a presentation and a piece of 'reflective writing'.

Speaking Up
The very special course that helps people to... speak up. The good example for how a univeristy can be inclusive for poeple with different learning disabilities (using pictures, graphs, games, work in group, support from volunteers...). For the Wednesday 3rd of November I prepared questions about Stoke-on-Trent for "Who wants to be a millionaire" - Miniature of Stoke-on-Trent helped me a lot (done by Junction 15, with whom o.o. works).

Getting Communities Involved
This is the course that we all (o., o.o., and j.) can take part in and the one that I partcipate as a student only. General introduction (what is a community, why and how to involve people), case study, lecture about social exclusion (that was the first session), than: a bit of the political history of UK, workshop about a participation and afternoon with the community arts. And it was enought to see about a half of CCU's staff as the lecturers :)

I also sit in some lectures from Department of Drama, Performance &Treatre Arts that I really enjoy:
Theatre Production (a lot of new words in English that I do not know how to translate into Polish)
Reading Theatre - The Semiotics of Performance (sounds familiar, however it took me a while to realise that Checkhov The Cherry Orchard = Czechow Wiśniowy sad...)
From Anger to Politics: Post-war British Drama (thank Derrick Cameron for introducing myself...)

Weekends (with o.o.):
Birmingham: nobody on the streets + Pen Room Museum (in the old manufacture of nibs - you can do one by yourself; hidden place worth visiting)
London: forgotten during the last month spirit of metropolia; half a day in Tate Modern.


Further economic education:
I spent one of the mornings with the economic developement officer from the City Council (thanks to Paul) talking about the economic department, the economic problems in the area of Stoke-on-Trent and having a tour around the city (I had thought that I know Stoke quite well just now, but I was wrong: Festival Park, commercial district, Keele Univeristy...)