A photojournalism project is promoting understanding and inclusiveness, thanks to a grant from Big Lottery Fund.
Apac (Associated Photography for Art and Culture) NI based near Banbridge provides visual arts opportunities for the community. They received an Awards for All grant of £3,713 for a photojournalism project called Looking Through Walls – Community Voices. The project involves local people contributing their stories to help communities express their aspirations for an inclusive society. It is part of a Big Lottery Fund grants windfall of £769,369 to 91 groups across Northern Ireland (see full list of awards) .
Apac promotes understanding and respect between cultures through the arts, especially photojournalism. It was set up by international award winning photojournalist Martin Nangle who currently lives in Banbridge.
The Awards for All project, Looking Through Walls – Community Voices, is part of Apac’s wider project, The Citizen’s Wallpaper, www.citizenswallpaper.com, which encourages unionist, nationalist and ethnic minority communities throughout Northern Ireland to visually record their lives and culture in a growing library of video documentaries. These are then shown on projector screens hung on peace walls in interface areas. Watch the first part of this project here:
Community groups across Northern Ireland are showing the film to young people living in interface areas, as a tool for exploring what it would be like to see through peace walls, and to look at ways they might change these structures or remove them in the future.
The Community Voices element funded through Awards for All is adding stories, interviews and comments to the film, from people living and working at interface areas to help change stereotyped representations and forge new connections.
“It’s important to use new technologies and media in inspiring positive shared futures,” said Martin Nangle. “Society is changing. Providing a voice to interface areas is a celebration in itself. It is about encouraging us to talk to each other, learn from one another and celebrate our differences. The project is bringing people from all communities – who otherwise may never have had the opportunity to meet – together for shared exhibitions.”
The Community Voices project also includes cultural gatherings, workshops, innovative communication models such as on-site radio, interactive webinars, street projection and pop-up cinemas.