Can You Hear Me Now is a 6-month programme of oral history recordings and creative workshops with a diverse cohort of 5-10 foodbank users from the area local to the University of Manchester. The aim of the project is to allow people who have used Manchester Central Foodbank to capture and express their experiences of poverty in our city in 2020 and of using a foodbank service, to create an archive of historically-significant testimonies, 3 risograph publications, and social media posts and blogs, to culminate in a pop-up event/exhibit at Manchester Central Library in July. Last year the foodbank provided food parcels for over 3,000 local people of very diverse backgrounds and personal situations 1/3 of our packages going to local children. We aim through this project to move beyond simply giving emergency food to local people in crisis by providing a public platform to both empower participants and to engage the wider public in campaigns to change policies and improve provision.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The project has endless benefits. First and foremost the project allows foodbank users to have a steer their own narratives of poverty and lead a creative campaign against traditional media portrayals of typical foodbank users. The project allows foodbank users, many of whom speak about the lack of agency in their life, to speak openly and honestly about their experiences navigating life as asylum seekers, refugees, universal credit recipients etc. The project stands to improve foodbank users wellbeing through participatory creative arts and open discussion, and connect communities and individuals. The project also will archive these narratives in an unstable time of UK politics. The project draws on a wide network of Manchester cultural partners; lead by Get It Done and Manchester Central Foodbank, the project will work with Manchester Central Library, University of Manchester, The Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester School of Art.
Steps to get it done:
We have been fortunate to have been awarded £3,500 in funding from The University of Manchester so far however we are looking for further funding to complete the project to it's full potential.
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