Leicester Stories Update No9 - What We Say is What We Do

Originally published at: https://decentered.co.uk/leicester-stories-update-no9-what-we-say-is-what-we-do/

In our recent Leicester Stories sessions, I’ve been focussing on the idea of Building Back Better. It’s a slogan used by many charities, civic society groups and politicians to explain what is going to change as we recover from the pandemic. To get a better sense of what the slogan means, and what is understood by the term, a group of us went out into Leicester to record some vox-pops. It was a great opportunity to talk to a wide range of people, and to get a sense of what the concerns are that people have, and about what they want to see changed and done differently as we recover from the pandemic.

I must admit, I’m not very good at spontaneously walking up to people in the street and asking them questions. I can comfortably record longer sit-down interviews, but the thought of randomly stopping people in the street fills me with dread. Fortunately, Roy and Ryan had no such worries and dived-in straight away. You can hear some of the responses we collected in the latest Leicester Stories Podcast. Hopefully we will be out and about doing more in the coming weeks, watch out for us and come and share your thoughts and experiences.

On Thursday, at the community reporters club, we recorded a Decentered Media Podcast, in which we reflected on the experience of capturing the vox-pops, and what we are learning about the way vox-pops can be used to engage with people. Is it possible to use vox-pops to get a better sense of what is going on in Leicester, and where people’s awareness is of the Building Back Better process, and what people feel should be the priorities? Recording the podcast gave Ryan, Roy and myself a chance to reflect in more detail on what we’d learnt, and how we think vox-pops might be used in the future.

On Wednesday I did a pop-up session at Leicester Coffee House, which thanks to Gail’s positive support, gave me loads of ideas about how use Facebook as a way to engage people through social media, and extend the range of people who are aware of Leicester Stories, so I can capture more conversations and experiences. Throughout August I’ll be at Leicester Coffee House on Wednesday mornings, 10am -12pm. I’m going to set up the banner and have my audio recorder handy. I want to chat with people as they pop in for a coffee. Please do come and share your ideas and thoughts, there is plenty of tea and coffee on-hand to get the conversation flowing.

As ever, if you are interested in discussing and thinking about how we can use media for positive social change as we Build Back Better, we’ve got three sessions next week:

Community Media Café 10am – 12pm Tuesday, Bishop Street Chapel Café, Leicester. This is our weekly drop-in café session, and a chance to chat with other people who are interested in using DIY media to support positive change in their communities. You don’t need any special skills, just come for a chat and share your experience of supporting positive social change. We’ll provide a tea or coffee to get the conversation started.

Leicester Builds Back Better Stories Pop-Up 10am – 12pm Wednesday, Leicester Coffee House, Granby Street. We are looking to have record chats and conversations about what it means to Build Back Better here in Leicester. Pop along if you have a point of view you want to share, or an experience that you think we can learn from. We’ll record your contribution and share it in a podcast and radio programmes as part of the conversation about what comes after the pandemic here in Leicester.

Community Reporters Club 10am – 12pm Thursday, Documentary Media Centre: At the next Leicester Stories Community Reporters Club, we will be discussing how to improve the way that we write and share stories as blogposts or articles. As we are thinking about what it means to Build Back Better, we will think about the set of principles that have come from the Reaching People Leadership programme. This includes asking questions and gathering experiences of what we need to change. We want to focus on asking: Do we feel proud about living in Leicester? Do we feel safe to be an active citizen in Leicester? Are we connected and do we value our connections with other people? Are we involved in shaping our community life? The conversation will share insight and knowledge about where we need to go next to make better use of community-driven media to bring about positive social change? There are a limited number of places, so please Register Here.

Community Stories: We are always on the look-out for stories that we can capture and share via the Leicester Stories website. If you are a not-for-profit community group, a charity or civic society or mutual aid organisation, or a public organisation that has stories of positive social change that you want to share, please do get in contact.

Leicester Stories is supported by funding from the Audio Content Fund, and is being developed with assistance from De Montfort University, the Documentary Media Centre and Zinthiya Trust. If you need more information about the project and it’s aims, please do get in contact.