Tweet: RT @SoundcastleTeam: Now hearing from the fabulous @MelissaMean from @knowlewestmedia in #Bristol. Excited to hear from someone from one of…


Archive for the ‘Local Issues’ Category

Film training programme puts volunteers in the spotlight

In early 2019 the Our Digital City team were approached by Hartcliffe & Withywood Community Partnership (HWCP) and asked to help teach a group of local residents and community leaders how to shoot, edit and produce their own short film, showcasing the excellent volunteer work being done by local residents  and groups within their community.

Today’s consumer technology can empower almost anyone who can think creatively. You can use smartphones and tablets to write a bestselling book, record a number one song, capture a profound moment through photography, and even tell a story through film. They say that the best camera is the one you have with you…

The group decided that shooting the film with smartphones would be a great idea: as many people own smartphones, the group wouldn’t need to rely on high-end and expensive equipment, thus creating a sustainable model for future film projects. The Our Digital City team shared their skills and knowledge with the group, supporting them with the initial storyboarding, advising how to achieve their desired shots most effectively, and helping with filming techniques and editing processes.


From there, the group went out into their community and interviewed a range of volunteers and groups: by implementing the techniques they had learned with the Our Digital City team, the group felt confident enough to organise the shoots and film everything themselves.

When all of the footage had been filmed and collected, it was time to put the final piece together, so the ODC team taught some members of the group how to use Apple’s iMovie editing software in order to produce a finished film.

In order to make a film that was truly accessible for all viewers, Sam from the HWCP group (left) added subtitles to the whole film.

The project was a great success and the group finished with a completed film that showcased the great work that is being done by individuals and groups within the communities of Hartcliffe and Withywood.

Participant Sam Parker said:

“I really enjoyed the sessions with KWMC. I really enjoyed the editing of the films –  really simple and easy to understand but now I look like I really know what I’m doing!”

This project also demonstrates that by utilising the technology we carry in our pockets in a creative way, we can be empowered as a community to shine a light on those who work hard to make a difference in their area and enable them to tell their own stories.

The sessions were delivered as part of the Our Digital City project – please get in touch with Jess or call 0117 903 0444 if you would like to run something similar in your area.

Discounts on courses in 24 hour Flash Sale

The 24-hour Culture Flash Sale is back for 2019: for one day only, discounted tickets and offers are available at a host of venues across Bristol and Bath!

From music, theatre, art and museum exhibitions to talks and theatre and dance classes, there’s plenty to see and do.

The sale begins at 10am on Thursday 17 January 2019 and runs until 10am on Friday 18 January 2019. Offers are limited – when they’re gone, they’re gone!

Read on for details of discounts on our Spring laser-cutting and photography courses, and offers from other organisations involved in the Flash Sale.

10% off: Make your own…Laser-cut Valentine’s Day Gifts

Treat your loved one to a personalised card and gift this year: learn how to design and make laser-cut Valentine’s Day items at KWMC: The Factory. Beginners welcome! Ages 16+

Deal: 10% off the usual price of £38. Visit our online shop during the Flash Sale and use the code valentineflash19
Date: Thursday 7 February, 6 – 8.30pm
Venue: KWMC: The Factory, Filwood Green Business Park

10% off: Make your own…Laser-cut Jewellery

Design your own jewellery and stand out from the crowd! Learn how to design and make laser-cut pieces in wood and acrylic at this weekend workshop at KWMC: The Factory. Beginners welcome! Ages 16+

Deal: 10% off the usual price of £55. Visit our online shop during the Flash Sale and use the code jewelleryflash19
Date: Saturday 16 March, 10am – 2pm
Venue: KWMC: The Factory, Filwood Green Business Park

10% off: Make your own…Laser-cut Easter Decorations

Create colourful Easter-themed delights to decorate your home: learn how to design and make a laser-cut Easter card and decoration. Beginners welcome! Ages 16+

Deal: 10% off the usual price of £38. Visit our online shop during the Flash Sale and use the code easterflash19
Date: Thursday 11 April, 10am – 12.30pm
Venue: KWMC: The Factory, Filwood Green Business Park


10% off: Introduction to Digital Photography

Leave the ‘auto’ setting behind with our one-day beginners’ course. Topics covered include understanding aperture, shutter speed, white balance, focusing, capturing fast moving objects and depth of field. Ages 16+

Deal: 10% off the usual price of £65. Visit our online shop during the Flash Sale and use the code photoflash19
Date: Saturday 9 March, 10am – 4pm
Venue: KWMC, Leinster Avenue 

10% off: Advanced Photography Skills

Step up your skills or refresh your current knowledge with this practical course. Learn how to photograph a model, use off-camera flash, make the most of light, and re-touch your images. Ages 16+

Deal: 10% off the usual price of £65. Visit our online shop during the Flash Sale and use the code photoflash19
Date: Saturday 23 March, 10am – 4pm
Venue: KWMC, Leinster Avenue 

10% off: Introduction to Studio Photography

Learn more about working in a studio environment in this practical one-day course. Practice setting up a studio and working with a model, and learn more about editing and lighting. Ages 16+

Deal: 10% off the usual price of £65. Visit our online shop during the Flash Sale and use the code photoflash19
Date: Saturday 6 April, 10am – 4pm
Venue: KWMC, Leinster Avenue 

Other Bristol deals
After Hours: LOVE at We The Curious

An evening celebrating that curious thing called love for friends and lovers alike. Be part of a guided exploration of a heart and be challenged, engaged and entertained with some intriguing activities around this most human of emotions. Age 18+.

Deal: tickets just £5 each during the Flash Sale (full price £8.95)
Date: Thursday 14 February, 6.30pm

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

To mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery will be displaying 12 of his finest drawings from the Royal Collection as part of the national celebration #Leonardo500. 

Deal: 50% off advance adult tickets during the Flash Sale
Dates: 1 February to 6 May 2019

Keen to know more? Search #CultureFlashSale on social media and read the full list of Flash Sale offers on the Visit Bristol blog.

 About the Flash Sale

The Culture Flash Sale is co-ordinated by the Bristol Arts Marketing Network in co-operation with Bristol and Bath Cultural Destinations Project and Visit Bristol. This is the 10th edition of the sale.

Photography Course images by Alistair Campbell

We Can Make housing initiative one of 50 ‘New Radicals’

Every two years Nesta and The Observer New Review showcase 50 individuals and organisations that are changing the UK for the better – and in 2018 a Knowle West initiative is one of them!

Our We Can Make housing programme has been selected as one of 50 ‘New Radicals’ – a list of individuals, organisations and initiatives from around the UK “developing creative ways of tackling society’s biggest challenges.”

At a time when working people can expect to pay around 7.6 times their annual earnings on purchasing a home in England and Wales, We Can Make aims to ensure that communities, not property developers, call the shots: where homes are built to meet local need using local assets and skills.

Led by Knowle West Media Centre and White Design, We Can Make brings together Knowle West residents, artists, academics, designers, architects and policy makers to try out new ideas for sustainable, affordable housing.

Almost a year to the day since the straw-bale We Can Make test home opened next to Filwood Community Centre, the initiative has been recognised as an innovative approach to tackling the challenge of unaffordable housing – an issue that affects communities in Bristol and across the country. Read the New Radicals profile of We Can Make here.

For more information about We Can Make and how you could get involved contact Melissa or call 0117 903 0444.

The We Can Make test home hosts an open house every Thursday afternoon from 2-6pm if you’d like to drop in and find out more.  Find the house on the corner of Barnstaple Road and Marwood Road, next to Filwood Community Centre.

About The New Radicals

New Radicals is a search led by Nesta, the innovation foundation, and The Observer to find “the top people, projects and organisations offering innovative ways to tackle social challenges.” It was launched in 2012 and runs every two years.

For more information and the full list of 2018 New Radicals visit the NESTA website.

About Nesta

Nesta is a global innovation foundation. It backs new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time, through its knowledge, networks, funding and skills. Nesta works in partnership with others, including governments, businesses and charities. It is a UK charity that works all over the world, supported by a financial endowment. To find out more visit their website. Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833.

Power to Change and the Nationwide Foundation support We Can Make

Working people can expect to pay around 7.6 times their annual earnings on purchasing a home in England and Wales: we urgently need new ways to meet housing need.

Our We Can Make initiative proposes that one answer to the housing crisis could lie in people’s own hands and ‘micro-plots’ of spare land scattered across back-gardens and between buildings.

We’re delighted to announce that the project has been awarded just over £200,000 from the Nationwide Foundation and Power to Change, the independent trust supporting community businesses in England, to develop the idea further.

The money will be used to work with a pilot neighbourhood in Bristol – Knowle West – to co-design and create practical tools that people can use to deliver their own affordable homes at “point of need”: making it easier, faster and cheaper to develop on micro-plots.

Community-led innovation

We Can Make has found that in Knowle West there are over 2,000 potential micro-sites where a 1-2 bedroom home could fit. Although not all of these sites will be suitable, We Can Make estimates that 10-15% could be developed. This would create a significant supply of land for affordable housing where and when it’s needed.

The project has a specific focus on people whose needs are not currently being met by the conventional housing system. These include:

– New Shoots’: families with an urgent need for more space due to children growing and needing independence but unable to get on the property ladder themselves.

– ‘Downshifters’: individuals or couples whose homes are too big for them due to children moving out, but they desperately want to stay in their neighbourhood close to friends and family.

– ‘Better fits’: families where one or more member has changing mobility needs that require different living arrangements.

– ‘Making Ends Meet’: those in financial need and who are willing to swap space for extra income, such as people working out how to support themselves through retirement.

Supporting the ‘citizen sector’

With the support of the Nationwide Foundation and Power to Change, We Can Make will develop a set of shared tools to help individuals and communities deliver their own affordable homes. These will include: a shared community design code to set rules about the kind of development that’s welcome; accessible finance models so more people can opt-in; and a design menu so people can choose a home that meets their needs and fits the character of the neighbourhood.

‘Not In My Back Yard’ (NIMBY) is an all too common reaction to speculative commercial developments; We Can Make aims to empower people to meet their own housing needs as YIMBYs: saying “Yes, In My Back Yard!”

Jonathan Lewis, Programme Manager at the Nationwide Foundation, says: “We’re impressed with the innovative, imaginative and forward-thinking approach of We Can Make. Therefore, we’re excited that our funding will help the people of Knowle West to nurture this idea as it moves forward to deliver new, affordable homes and protect existing ones. This project is carefully considering the varying needs of the local residents, putting the community at the heart of decision-making. The development of projects like We Can Make – which could lead to more widespread implementation in time – is key to addressing the housing crisis and changing the system, which doesn’t currently provide the necessary help to people in housing need.”

Michael Lloyd Jones, Programme Officer at Power to Change, comments: “We’re delighted to support the We Can Make project – it’s just what we look for through our Sandbox Ideas Programme; an innovative initiative that has the potential to spark and grow the community business sector beyond its own doors. Community business models are well placed to respond to the challenges facing the housing sector and we are excited to see what valuable learnings We Can Make will yield for community-led housing not just in Bristol but beyond.”

About We Can Make

We Can Make is led by Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) and architects practice White Design.  It brings together residents, architects, policy-makers and artists to create a new system for delivering affordable housing, working with the assets and resources of communities. The project builds on over a year’s worth of research and innovation in Knowle West: an estate of around 5,500 homes and community of approximately 12,000 residents. A report summarising this research can be found here.

We Can Make built a prototype house on a micro-plot next to Filwood Community Centre in the in summer 2017. The house is fully plumbed and wired, with walls made of straw bale panels, triple-glazed windows and a large wooden deck. Local residents were employed in its construction. So far over 100 local people and visitors from as far away as San Francisco, Australia and Berlin have stayed overnight to try out living in it.

Get involved!

KWMC hosts a weekly drop-in at the prototype We Can Make home for residents interested in finding out more: Thursdays, 2-6pm, at the We Can Make Home on the corner of Barnstaple Road and Marwood Road, Knowle West.

We’d love to meet you and see if We Can Make could work for you!

For more information contact Melissa Mean at Knowle West Media Centre: or 0117 903 0444.

We Can Make: Construction begins on a strawbale house

Over the spring of 2017 a large wooden structure has slowly taken shape behind Filwood Community Centre. The moveable house is fully plumbed and wired, has walls made of straw bales, triple-glazed windows and a large wooden deck. Known as the TAM (Transportable Accommodation Module), the eco-friendly home is big enough to house a couple – and it will open its doors to the public soon!

The TAM has been built as part of  We Can Make…Homes. Led by Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC), the programme has brought together local people, architects, artists, policy-makers, academics and housing industry professionals. Together, we’ve been exploring how communities can play a greater role in creating new homes – including deciding where and how they are built.

Housing is now the least affordable it has ever been in the UK, with the average house costing 7.6 times average annual income, compared to 3.6 times in 1997 (Office of National Statistics 2017). Communities like Knowle West need more affordable options. We Can Make has developed five new affordable designs for homes, including the TAM, that would suit the many ‘microsites’ that exist in Knowle West (located in large gardens, spaces between houses and on the corners of streets), and which would allow building work to be carried out by local contractors and at local cost.

Melissa Mean, Head of Arts at KWMC, explains: “From our research and conversations with families in Knowle West we’ve seen that the current, competitive, housing system doesn’t work for many people – they are struggling to find the kind of home they need at a price they can afford. However, there’s a keen interest in trying something new. 90% of people we asked said they thought ‘micro-plot’ homes were a good idea for the neighbourhood and 73% thought they were a good idea for their street.”

The TAM is one of the five designs developed through We Can Make and the first to be built. Created by Bristol-based architecture company White Design, the TAM uses the ModCell straw bale building system and materials provided by Coobio, a renewable materials innovation company. Local people have been helping to build it too.

Local people have been working with artists Charlotte Biszewski and Alex Goodman to make the new house a home, using natural dyes to make curtains, cushions and tiles. The kitchen of the TAM will also be designed and made by local people over the summer months, using digital fabrication tools at KWMC: The Factory at Filwood Green Business Park.

The TAM will open its doors for the first time on Thursday 7th September with a housewarming party and BBQ; all are welcome and you can register for a free ticket at There will also be tours of the house at Knowle West Fest on Saturday 9th September.

In September and October the TAM will be available to local people who would like to try out living in a community-made house. Get in touch with Martha King at KWMC on 0117 903 0444 if you would like to find out more about staying a night, or even a week, in the TAM.

Craig White, the architect behind the TAM, adds: “If anyone is passing Filwood Community Centre, do drop by and say hello. We’d love to show you around – and during the summer you could even help with a bit of decorating. We’ve loved working with everyone in Filwood – my company, White Design, might have designed it, but the TAM is definitely made in Knowle West.”

Come along to the housewarming party on 7th September and find out more!


We Can Make: Making Natural Dyes

Over the last few weeks artist Alex Goodman has been collecting leaves and plants from across Knowle West to create a range of natural dyes. The dyes will be used to decorate and furnish the interior of a new home currently under construction in Knowle West as part of the We Can Make Homes project. Find out what Alex has been up to and the huge variety of plants she’s discovered in the gardens and hedgerows…

Alex’s blog

As a friend and collaborator of Charlotte Biszewski I’d heard a lot about the We Can Make Homes project at Knowle West Media Centre and her door knocking cyanotype escapades. When she told me about the second phase of the project, involving designing the last parts to fit out the TAM building [the first prototype We Can Make house] and make it into a home, I was pretty excited about the possibilities.

Like Charlotte I come from a print-based background but in the past few years my work has begun to explore processes that get me out of the studio and into the garden, park or any bit of derelict land where wild plants grow. Being a countryside dweller and daughter of a gardener it was inevitable that my work would eventually turn towards the leaves and this project was no exception.

Charlotte and I sat down and talked about what makes a home, what objects are important, what aspects of home decor and adornment could we look at and create in our own way. We looked at the cyanotypes she’d created with inhabitants of Knowle West and thought about that process: [the] images were drawing pictures of home with light.

I had a little look into cyanotyping as a process and it came to light that the man responsible for inventing the beautiful prussian blue process was John Frederick William Herschel who also invented anthotypes, which is a similar technique that takes a lot longer but uses plant-based material. Anthotypes are cyanotypes’ non-toxic plant-based counterpart: [it] involves juicing natural materials then coating paper in the liquid and then exposing the photograms for a long length of time to the sun, bleaching away the colour exposed and leaving what is covered.

As part of my practice I’ve been investigating and developing ways to incorporate plant-based processes into my work from herbalism to natural dying. Inspired by Herschel’s anthotypes I wanted to get out into the leafy green streets of Knowle West to be find some of the colours hiding in the local plants.


Armed with a long list of dye plants that could easily be found in the local area I went out to inquire where and who might let me snip a few leaves for the dye pot to extract some local colours. Scrambling up the Northern Slopes up to Knowle West with a rucksack full of bags ready to find local plants I wandered up to The Park Local Opportunity Centre. After a conversation here with secateurs in hand I snipped away some leaves from the ash tree and some purple buddleia. It has begun!

[With] two very different yellows sorted now I needed to seek out some oranges, reds, greens and pinks. I walked and chatted and collected different plant material from blackthorn, nettles, cherry leaves, willow, lavender, sage, plums and rosemary from across Knowle West. Getting to know the local flora and those who tend it was a real treat: there are a lot of keen gardeners in Knowle West and it was really wonderful to hear people’s trials and tribulations in digging and nurturing their little patches of ground. With my many bags I trudged home to the kitchen to pop the ingredients into pans and gently let them simmer to extract their colours.

With the colours sorted I now needed to find and make my mordants to fix the dyes into the fabric. A mordant helps to create lasting dyes and also, depending on what you use, it can adjust the colours. I went for two different mordants: one being a mix of rusty metal I’d picked up on a street corner mixed with vinegar and oak gauls (because of their high tannin content) and another using alum. The alum brightens the colours and often exaggerates the yellows in the dye as the rusty tannin dampens and darkens them, creating silvery greys and blues.

My technique isn’t an exact art and there is a lot to learn about natural dying – you can easily get sucked into the chemistry of it – but personally I prefer more of the folk method or ‘witches brew’ style. It’s exciting to experiment with different materials and some of these plants I haven’t used before and others I know well look totally different to when I’ve used them in the past.

The idea behind collecting  these dyes from the local area was to create a palette of colours that came from this landscape, from its very fabric. From this we’d make our designs and incorporate these colours, celebrating the shades that Knowle West harbours, hidden in its leaves and rusting away in skips.

Alex Goodman is an artist, writer, and performer who makes work investigating how stories and relationship to landscape reflect the navigation of our everyday lives. Originally from Cornwall she recently moved to Bristol and has lived and worked in many different places in various forms of shelter including sailing boats, caravans and temporary spaces in Cornwall, Scotland and London.

Through performance, installation, events and page based media Alex’s work is seeks to create a visual and audible poetry. She weaves together narratives of journeys with striking lino-cut prints and collage to create images and and stories that invite the audience to step inside. She specialises in lino-cut printing and teaches simple printmaking for beginners.

Change Creators: Hack a Heckle Campaign Launch

On 22nd July the Hack A Heckle campaign officially launched at Bristol’s Harbour Festival! Catch up with Collective blogger Olivia to find out more:

We were very excited and anticipated this moment for months. Beforehand we were organising, practising and refining our music for our 1 hour set on the Bristol Plays Music stage and couldn’t wait to share it with our community!

On the day of the launch the group had a meeting and organised our plan of action for the day. We began by surveying people in our immediate environment around the stage. We were asking the passing public specific gender harassment questions and had an amazing time connecting to people who were sharing their stories.

Our merchandise for the day was a great help: we had cupcakes thanks to Cakeshop, which were a great way to catch people’s eye and to thank them for stopping to chat with us! We also gave out leaflets which gave them a valuable point of access to follow us on our social media pages, visit our website and tell others to share their stories through our online survey!

It was amazing to speak to so many people and gain so much more insight into their experiences. The group was really inspired by the stories shared and were really thrilled to connect to so many people who care about gender harassment and want to see it stop.


Around 3pm we began our 1 hour set on Bristol Plays Music stage. We had some amazing advice from Eva Lazarus beforehand about song arrangements for our set. This was incredibly helpful as she gave us ideas on how we want our set to flow from start to finish.

We wanted to begin our show with a powerful introduction to our music so we chose our song ‘Lady’ to be first followed by a cover. We then wanted our acoustic slower piece ‘Hide‘ to be mid-set: this is our debut single and is available to download. This was followed by U + Ur Hand and then our speech and electronic track ‘Emily’.

We had a guest spoken word artist Bex Dudley who spoke some powerful words, and this was followed by some more of our music, then ended with a powerful cover of ‘NO’ by Meghan Trainor. This left our audience with a memorable last message and it tied our set together with a high energy outro. The group learnt a lot that day and it was an amazing launch and experience for future events!

Overall we got more than 80 surveys completed which was an amazing number to reach and we would like to thank every single person for stopping and playing such an integral part of raising awareness of this issue! It was amazing to share our music with you and to get the ball rolling! We have so much more planned: our next performance will be At-Bristol on Sunday 6th August from 1-5 pm where we will be performing, speaking and having special guests perform during our 4-hour set.

So keep up to date with our movements on our social media and website and get your friends and family involved by filling in our survey or sharing your specific story.

Written by Olivia Sully-Karlis
Facebook: Hack A Heckle
Twitter: @hackaheckle
Instragam: @hackaheckle

Change Creators: XLR Collective meet Kaptin Barrett, Boomtown programmer

This week the XLR Collective met Kaptin Barrett, festival programmer for Boomtown Fair, for a behind-the-scenes insight into working on a huge summer event. Catch up with Change Creator Will to find out what else the Collective have been up to as they get ready for the launch of their campaign to challenge sexual harassment on the street…

19th June 2017, KWMC

Just like last time, we started this week’s session by updating the group on what tasks we’d all completed so far. We’ve all been researching things like merchandise, social media strategies and media promotion. Questionnaires have been drawn up and the basic layout of the website is now finished. The group has also made a good start on songwriting, with more rehearsals booked in the future.

After the updates, the group was visited by local legend and music programmer at Boomtown Fair, Kaptin Barrett. We told him all about our campaign and answered any questions he had about it. Kaptin then gave us loads of advice, ideas and constructive criticism on our campaign, which left us with a lot of food for thought (although it was more like a buffet for thought).

The group then asked him some questions, some about the campaign, some about his job and some about wider topics. This gave the group a lot of insight about the day-to-day jobs of people working in the music industry. […] We discussed the possibility of our campaign doing something at Boomtown Festival, but since it’s quite last minute this may be hard to organise.

Afterwards, the group got back to planning the next steps. We listed everything that was still left to do from the previous week and added the list of tasks from the coming week. We also swapped round some team roles and delegated some tasks differently to before. This is simply due to some people being away or being more confident with different elements of the campaign. We also spoke about the budget and we now have a clearer idea of how to divide it and what some things will cost. There’s still a lot to do, but we’re getting closer!

Follow us at:

Follow us at:
@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
Insta: @xlrmusicuk


Author: Will Sissons

Will is a member of the XLR Collective, and is leading on branding and web development for the Hack-A-Heckle campaign:

“I like to gig a lot, playing bass in several bands and at regular jam nights, while teaching on the side. I’m also a serial live music fan and sometimes put on my own events. I have a part time job at a small business selling edible cake toppers and I’m addicted to travelling and watching films”

Find out more about Will here.

Will Sissons – image by Jay Carter-Coles


Change Creators: The XLR Collective – Campaign Update

Over the last few weeks the XLR Collective have been going from strength to strength as they develop plans for their social action campaign to challenge sexual harassment on the street.  Change Creator Will has been writing a blog about his experience and what the group have been up to. 

You can read his entries for May and June below:

2nd May 2017, KWMC 

This week’s session started with the group pitching ideas for overall campaign names and hashtags for the social media campaign. We discussed the pros and cons of each before voting on our favourites. ‘Hack A Heckle’ was the winner for the campaign name, but the hashtag is yet to be decided.

More of a discussion will be needed in the coming weeks to finalise the hashtag in order to get started with the social media campaign. The thought process behind Hack A Heckle comes from the ‘problem’ and ‘solutions’ we defined on the previous week: we’ll be offering tips and advice for bystanders and victims [of harassment] in how to respond and who to contact after verbal or sexual harassment has occurred. And we’re hacking the misogynistic culture amongst young men by trying to de-normalise it.

Next we started planning our online media strategy, making sure we know exactly who our audience will be, how we communicate with them, the over-arching goals for the campaign and the tools needed to execute it successfully. The individual elements of the campaign include a launch event, busking/campaigning around the city, researching advice, obtaining anonymous stories of verbal and sexual harassment, creating the branding for the campaign and a website that the social media platforms all point to. We also pitched ideas for original content to promote the campaign online. 

Finally, the group decided on team roles and sub team leaders to make sure the workload is evenly distributed. 

15th May 2017 – Arnolfini

The Change Creators met in the Arnolfini this week for inspiration on venues and using different spaces creatively. We had a guided tour round the contemporary arts centre [and saw] the rooms available for hire and the current exhibition: Basim Magdy – ‘The Stars Were Aligned For A Century Of New Beginnings.’ Magdy’s work is ‘rooted in dreams, scientific theory and failed utopian ambitions. Full of humour and quiet melancholy, his works on paper and in film, photography and slide projection reflect on the present social and political climate and our collective failure as, in the desire for progress, we repeat the same mistakes over and over again in a recurring cycle of aspiration, action and defeat.’ It was definitely thought provoking and was good to see an example of how an artist uses different mediums in different spaces.

After the tour, we all met back in the library to go over our personality types according to the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. Some people weren’t convinced by their personality description, but it was still interesting to get some feedback from the group and gave us a different perspective on how we work individually. Getting to know people’s strengths and weaknesses also gave us a starting point for our group’s approach to the campaign planning.

Towards the end of the session, we discussed in more detail our aims and objectives for the campaign, which eventually helped us to describe the overall ‘problem’ that the campaign will address and the ‘solutions’ we will strive for. The problem is that women are objectified every day. The solution to this problem is to de-normalise misogynistic attitudes. More specifically, we will aim to make young men more conscious of how they are making young women feel and raise awareness of objectification. Our objectives will be to campaign around the city and offer advice/responses to verbal and sexual harassment, 

5th June 2017 – KWMC 

After the half-term break, the group returned and started by talking through all the elements of the campaign. This was to make sure everyone was up to speed and to get us thinking about a basic timeline and order of events. With the help of the Media Centre’s Rachel Clarke, we agreed on key campaign dates, dates for performances, deadlines and what work needs doing leading up to them. We wrote a timeline on a large piece of paper and added post-it notes to it, so that we can move things around easily and update it as the campaign progresses.

We then split up into two informal groups to plan the next steps: one on branding and the other songwriting/busking. The two groups were based on our group roles that were decided in the previous session. The group focusing on branding used a colour emotion guide as a starting point for discussion. We spoke about colour schemes, design styles, inspiration for a logo and what the graphics might look like on various merchandise and social media platforms.

We then answered questions such as:

Who is the audience and what actions do you want them to take?
How do you want them to feel?
What connotations does hack A Heckle conjure up and how might they be different for men/women and younger/older people?
What imagery and connotations do we definitely want to avoid?

Finally, we thought it would be a good idea to create a mood board to help visualise the branding, merchandise and social media posts. We set up a board on Pinterest, which you can view here.

The other group discussed songwriting and busking logistics: First, they agreed on specific locations, dates and times for busking around the city. A shortlist of local festivals was created [so] we can target by setting up on popular routes to and from the events in order to catch the large influx of people.

[…] Event banners will be used to promote the campaign while we perform and video equipment will be needed to document and promote us on social media. The group finished up by discussing the need to hire rehearsal space for songwriting and practising the songs. These songs will be recorded, potentially for some sort of EP release as part of the overall campaign.

The two groups then shared all this information with each other and updated the timeline together. At the end of the session, we made a few adjustments to the different roles of group members and agreed on things we need to do before the next session. 

We also had our project keyrings arrive this week [made at KWMC: The Factory] with the Change Creators’ logo and core values engraved onto them. The core values were chosen at the very start of the project and will be influencing our decisions throughout the project. 

They are: 


12th June 2017 – KWMC

This week’s session started early with the branding and website team (Maya, Liv, Will & Jerome) coming in for a meeting with the media centre’s Bart Blazejewski, Rachel Clarke and Daniel Edmund. Together we navigated our way through branding concepts, logo ideas, fonts and colours, graphic styles and photography. Olivia had created a mood board with several interesting concepts and the group had prepared a pinterest board with tons of images, photos, logos and graphics as inspiration for the branding. Bart will be trying out some basic branding elements over the next week, but many of the decisions are now made, which allowed us to move swiftly on to the website.

Rachel had brought in a website brief, consisting of several questions that need answering in order to create a successful website. These questions include:

Who are the key audiences for the website?
What do you want people to do after visiting the website?
What information do you want people to find out from the website?

Will brought in a couple of website drafts to see how things might look, so we could answer the above questions with specific examples. This allowed us to make some decisions based around pages and content. We also discussed the different groups of people who might come to the website and how each group might interact with it differently to others.

After a successful few hours, we linked back up with the rest of the group for the main Change Creators session. To begin with, we updated them on the meetings we’d just had, and other people then spoke about what they had been up to for the last week regarding the campaign. Last week’s timeline was scrapped and we started afresh by splitting into two groups, one focusing on branding/digital tasks and the other focusing on music creation/street campaigning tasks. A new timeline has now been completed with a lot more detail on exactly when things need to happen. Over the next week, we’ll be using the timeline to inform our costings and how best to use our budget.

Follow us at:
@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
Insta: @xlrmusicuk

We Can Make: Artist Reflections Part Three

Artist in residence Charlotte Biszewski is working on the We Can Make…Homes project, exploring how communities could play a leading role in developing new housing for their communities.

Charlotte’s Blog: Part Three

Time to hit the streets: Knowle West never saw it coming. Except they did, from a mile away, and it looked like a big blue ice cream trolley.

A bit of a backstory: so, this residency has been about two things, firstly getting to know how people in Knowle West relate to their homes and then getting them involved in creating a collaborative piece of art for the upcoming exhibition.

I wanted to open up questions of home and what makes home… well, ‘home’ really. I wanted to look at objects, what we surround ourselves with, how we adorn the place with live and why we do this. How the physical space inside our homes makes us feel ‘at home’. Admittedly it has been a bit of a challenge – to get people to let me in their homes and have a nose around really.

I couldn’t imagine that asking up-front would work. So I built a mobile cyanotype unit using a bike trailer; it was something I could take door to door, asking people to bring me an object and take part in making long wallpaper hangings. This is how a typical encounter looked:

Knock Knock.


‘Hello, my name is Charlotte, I work at the Media Centre.’

The door remains ajar, the owner unwilling to open it fully to this stranger, who has just turned up at their house uninvited. There is a silence.

‘Do you know it? Yes? Well I work there, I am an artist. I am creating a large wallpaper hanging. In my trailer here I have wallpaper covered in this photographic formula.’

I bring out my scraggly piece of tattered blue demonstration wallpaper – it shows the silhouettes of coat hangers and lace curtains, captured in the deep blue of cyanotype. They look at me curiously – untrusting but interest.

‘I’m sorry we already have wallpaper and we don’t want to buy anymore.’

‘No, I’m not selling it, I am making it. I am asking residents of Knowle West to bring me an object. I put it in the trailer, and I expose the silhouette onto the wallpaper, it will be a long hanging artwork out of everyone’s objects from the area. It will be exhibited in the Media Centre in May.’

They pause, their face continues to be unimpressed, dead-pan.

We wait like that for a few seconds, me expecting them to slam the door on my face, or tell me to politely jog-on.

Hang on a minute! They turn back for a minute and return, triumphant-looking, with a child’s toy/ glass ornament/ frog statue/ brass ring/ some strange cooking implement.

‘Will this do?’

And then we put it in the trailer and wait for ten minutes. In this ten minutes we are locked into a conversation. In this time they tell me their stories. Their lives in Knowle West, how they came to acquire the object, the way their neighbourhood has changed, their successes in Weight Watchers, the pain of losing a partner, mother, son, the difficulties in finding a job, a place to live, a recent pregnancy. They show me war medals, Crufts awards, trinkets, gifts, tools and cups of tea. I am sniffed by a hundred different pugs, poodles, dobermans and a Jack Russell who licks my leg for about 10 minutes.

The people of Knowle West are as generous with their personal life stories as they are with their offers of tea and biscuits. It has been eye-opening – not just to the objects and stories but the people behind each door who surprised me every time.

I’m looking forward to seeing it all now at the Test Space Launch on Thursday 11th of May…

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

Share This Follow us
Join In
Sign up for our monthly e-bulletin and receive the latest news and events