Exchange Stories

July 1st, 2013 by Tamara Edyta West in Creative Networks Research | no comments

Here in sunny Moseley we’ve been busy planning our media co-creation with the Moseley Exchange.  In addition to this, we’ve  also continued to undertake interviews. Most recently I spoke with Lewis’s of Moseley, a local deli business, about their use of social media and networks, business and community networks, and about Moseley in general. We plan to interview several other local businesses and community groups to both compliment and expand the interviews we already undertook here at the Exchange.

Lewis's of Moseley

Lewis’s of Moseley

Our media co-creation, the Exchange Stories project, is now underway. Next week we’ll be undertaking three days of digital storytelling training alongside representatives from the Moseley Exchange. The training is being run by StoryWorksUK and will enable us to undertake our own workshops. Straight after this we will be sharing a stall with the Exchange at the annual Moseley Festival Street Fair on July 13th, and the following week we will be running our first digital storytelling workshop with the users of the Exchange.

So why digital storytelling? During the media co-creation workshop that we held with representatives of the board, staff, and coworking space users, two main themes and concerns emerged. Firstly, all participants expressed the desire for a greater knowledge and understanding (a greater porosity as one participant put it) of what the different people and groups using the building were doing. Who are the diverse people using the building and how do they (actually or potentially) impact on one another? How might their activities and interactions take from, represent, and benefit the local area?

Workshop at the Moseley Exchange

Workshop at the Moseley Exchange

The Moseley Exchange building has within it many voices, perspectives and expectations. It caters for the community as whole by providing a space for community groups, meetings, and societies and it is actively seeking to involve wider sections of Moseley currently not fully represented. It also encompasses the coworking space and offices for new businesses, so has an entrepreneurial nature. Whilst these perspectives and usages may potentially conflict, they also provide a depth of experience and knowledge. Moreover, they are fundamentally linked by a sense of place. This was the second recurrent theme -Moseley itself. All participants felt that the locality was important to them in terms of their personal, professional and social lives. Linked to this, they wanted the Exchange to build upon its place within Moseley. They wanted something that would reflect the diverse people and things going on in the building, but also highlight their connections to the local area; what they take from it and what they give back. In the workshop the notion of storytelling emerged as a possible method of capturing the everyday journeys and interactions– be these physical, imaginative, real or desired- in some way. The resulting stories would be captured and then posted online. We’ve also discussed how we might produce some accompanying print media to compliment the online format.

We will let you know how the training, festival and workshops develop……

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