Image from the Hackney as Home project
Five young people from Hackney, together with researchers from the Department of Geography at The Open University, have been capturing on film what it means to call Hackney home.
Senior Lecturer in Geography Melissa Butcher says the two-year project challenges stereotypes of the east London borough being all sink estates, riots or simply being famous for its Olympic redevelopment.
The project includes short stories drawn from across the borough, exploring growing up and moving out, cultural diversity, a history of style and the impact of gentrification.
Project director Dr Butcher says a key aim of Creating Hackney as Home is to enable young people to represent the area in the way they want to.
“We know that Hackney is one of the most diverse boroughs in London, and rapidly redeveloping because of its location near the City and the Olympic site. But what we don’t know is how young people feel about these changes and what it means for them to have a stake in Hackney.”
The young people have been actively involved in the project, getting to grips with learning research methods and film-making skills to allow them to be researchers in their own community. During the summer they have not only been filming, but photographing and documenting the space they call home, generating data that is designed to help local authorities take young people’s experiences and points of view into account.
‘Working with a team of other young people has allowed me to learn a lot about other people’s different experiences of Hackney and what it means to them”, said Shekeila, one of the peer researchers on the team.
The films mark the start of the second phase of the two-year study. They will be placed online to allow other young people, locally, nationally and internationally to add their comments and experiences of what it means to live in the complex spaces of 21st century cities.
The films will be screened on 24th September, from 6pm, at Hackney Picture House (270 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1HE), followed by a chance to discuss the project with the research team.
The Creating Hackney as Home project is a collaboration between the Department of Geography (Open University), and youth arts organisations Immediate Theatre and Mouth that Roars.
Creating Hackney as Home can be accessed at: http://www.open.ac.uk/researchcentres/osrc/research/projects/creating-hackney-as-home
Notes to editors
Creating Hackney as Home is a two year project is funded by the ESRC
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