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Archive for the ‘Local Issues’ Category

The Record comes to Bristol

We’re really excited to be supporting In Between Time with a new dance and theatre performance that will take place on the main stage of Bristol Old Vic.

They’re looking for 45 people from communities across the city to be part of ‘The Record’, a production by award winning New York theatre company 600 HIGHWAYMEN which will be performed at IBT17 Bristol International Festival.

Explore theatre and dance, meet new people, and take centre stage to represent your city: you don’t need any performance experience and anyone living in Bristol aged over 8 years can audition!

Find out more and sign up for auditions at inbetweentime.co.uk/wearetherecord

Audition sign up deadline  23 Sept 2016
Audition                                 30 Sept 2016
Call backs                               1/2 Oct 2016
5 x rehearsals                        16 Jan – 5 Feb 2017
4 x public performances      9 -11 Feb 2017

For more details contact wearetherecord@inbetweentime.co.uk or call the team at In Between Time on 07543 093 674.

Image credit: Maria Baranova

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Save the date: KWMC’s 20th birthday

To mark our 20th year we’re throwing a party to celebrate Knowle West and Bristol as places where amazing things happen – and you’re all invited!

Join us on Tuesday 22 November to talk, eat, share and preview our winter exhibition 20/20 Visions, featuring new work by 20 Bristol photographers.

The event will include our Annual General Meeting for 2015-2016.

More details coming soon, but save the date!

Cary Comes Home film challenge now open

Are you up for a filmmaking challenge inspired by the Golden Age of cinema? The Cary Grant Comes Home For The Weekend festival is back for 2016 and they’re running a film challenge for micro movies inspired the classic 1938 film Bringing Up Baby. Movies must be under 90 seconds and include one of the following items:

evening dress
dinosaur bones
leopard
golf
olives
a net

Intrigued? Find out more here.  Our Director Carolyn Hassan is on the judging panel again this year and is looking forward to seeing your submissions!

Cary Comes Home is run by festival directors Charlotte Crofts and Anna Farthing, born out of their shared passion for Bristol’s vibrant cinema culture and film heritage. The festival’s aims are to celebrate Cary Grant’s Bristol roots, develop new audiences for his films and recreate the golden age of cinema-going.

Made in Knowle West

On a sunny May afternoon a group of adults and children made their way from Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) to the nearby Springfield Allotments. We were taking part in a Bristol Food Connections workshop to forage for local ingredients and learn how to turn these into summer drinks.

The gathering grew throughout the afternoon until there were more than 30 adults and children. Many joined us from nearby Knowle West Children’s Centre.

During the short walk to the allotments we started foraging, stopping to collect blossom from a cherry tree growing near the road.  Local residents in the group discussed how they use these public park areas – from grazing horses to watching the hot air balloons to collecting blackberries.  The area we walked through is known as ‘the Bommie’, apparently because of the bombs that were dropped in the war.

On arrival at the allotments, run by Knowle West Health Association, we were met by Steve Griffiths who gave us a tour, including poly-tunnels, beehives and a chicken coop. As the children looked for eggs and stroked the chickens, the rest of us turned our attention to Susanna Wallis from Company Drinks.

Company Drinks is an organisation based in Barking and Dagenham that aims to remember some of the old East End traditions including the hop picking season – six weeks a year when women and children would move out of the city to go picking on farms in the countryside. The organisation also wants to address issues around children losing the ability to name plants and flowers and engage people in a rural activity within an urban setting. Susanna was keen to connect with the work that we have been doing on the Who decides what’s in my fridge? project.

Susanna pointed out plants and fruits that we could use to turn into summery drinks. We split into three teams to collect rhubarb, a pretty pink flower called flowering currant, and dandelions. When our baskets were full we regrouped in the cool retreat of the allotment roundhouse to learn how to make the cordials.

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We picked off the petals of the dandelions, flowering currant flowers and the cherry blossom, which would later be steeped in a hot sugar syrup to make the cordials. Susanna mentioned a variety of other cordials that they make and work well: Japanese knotweed, cola, blackcurrant and apple, fizzy crab apple and manor house pear. Susanna had brought some tasters for us to try – and the cooling cordials helped refresh us after our ramble to the allotments and foraging.

As we plucked the petals and chopped the rhubarb we chatted and shared experiences of using the green spaces of Knowle West and the beautiful nearby countryside. The area has a proud history of foraging and residents shared how people came to the park to catch rabbits, as well as sharing tips about which herbs and plants are good for eating and using as remedies. We now know that pink clover flowers are supposed to ease period pain!

We didn’t have time to the finish the drinks then so we took everything back to KWMC to finish overnight. Participants were invited to stay for an evening event of food, discussions and tasting drinks.

This event was one of three Cook ‘n Converse events held in May as part of the Bristol Food Connections festival. Knowle West Media Centre would like to thank all partner organisations involved in the event that made it such a success – Company Drinks, Food Connections, Knowle West Children’s Centre and Springfield Allotments.

A food project that’s close to home

Yasmin Thomas has just finished as a Junior Digital Producer at Knowle West Media Centre. Here she looks back at her time working on Who Decides What’s in My Fridge

“I have lived in Knowle West since the age of four, but I didn’t know that my first role in the media and arts sector would flourish here. I was one of eight Junior Digital Producers (JDP) recently working at Knowle West Media Centre on the Who Decides What’s in my Fridge? project. Being a JDP was a paid position for six months up until the end of April 2016. Our role was to collect data from the community to explore the barriers that communities face accessing food locally.

“From October 2015 we received a series of intense training sessions to provide us with the skills we would need to work on the project, including workshops on understanding key themes of data ethics and data visualisations. We also developed our multi-media skills such as photography, filming and coding.

“Our first step in terms of data collection was to research the priorities of local residents when they shop. We put together a simple activity using mason jars labelled as ‘cost’, ‘nutrition’, ‘taste’ and ‘appearance’ for participants to choose from. We worked hard to make the data collection process fun and also ensured that community participants had a say in guiding the project.

“Over time we progressed our data collection methods into building an interactive survey in the form of a life-size fridge filled with models of food and questions. This successfully aroused curiosity in the community to get involved in the project  The Fridge was taken on “tour” around Knowle West to collect the data. We went to many of the different clubs and community groups to try and reach a full cross-section of the community. You can see a video that one of my fellow Junior Digital Producers made about the ‘Fridge Tour’ here.

“After we had collected the survey data we analysed the results and visualised them as part of a new website that we created for people to explore what we have found.

“We launched the website and displayed the data collected from the Fridge by holding a pop-up interactive exhibition in an unused shop. It used to be a fruit and veg shop on Filwood Broadway but it closed down in recent years, along with many of the other nearby shops. We promoted the exhibition by inviting other community organisations and local growers to take part, organising an ‘Eat and Greet Food Marketfor a day. We had a successful turn-out and had an additional 40 participants take part in the Fridge survey on the day.

“What I have learnt is that community participation is successful when part of the project’s aim is to improve quality of living, whatever that might be. Knowle West is in the process of a regeneration plan, but the 20 year long wait is vastly aggravating the locals, which I found out during my experience of community engagement. The community has campaigned for a supermarket in Knowle West for more than 20 years, and are fed up of community consultations and viability studies that ultimately come to nothing.  

“With that in mind we started to look at alternatives to supermarkets that could improve food accessibility, for example a local food market. We don’t have a supermarket but we do have lots of nearby green space for growers and events!

“The experience of this project has developed my understanding of the community that I live in and how the locals do their utmost to keep it alive, whether through clubs or classes. While my time as a Junior Digital Producer has now come to an end, after living in Knowle West for 22 years I’m now playing the role as an activist for this project. It is a project that’s close to home  – literally! – and I’m going to stay involved.”

To find out more about the work that the Junior Digital Producers did on the project take a look at the website they built, with a live survey and interactive data visualisations at www.KWfood.org

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What’s your KWMC story?

In 2016 we’re marking the first 20 years of Knowle West Media Centre.  Over the next few months we’ll be holding a number of special events and exhibitions to celebrate everyone who has been part of the journey, reflect on what we’ve achieved together, and look forward to the next 20 years…

We’d love to hear your thoughts, memories and experiences of working with us.  We’re pulling together a collection of reflections – ’20 Stories for 20 Years’ – and we’d love to include yours.

We’ve noted some short questions below if you’d like to use them, but feel free to write, sing, rap or respond in a different way entirely!

1.  When did you first come to Knowle West Media Centre and what did you do?

2. How do you think KWMC has changed during the time you’ve known us?

3. Has KWMC made a difference to you? (If so, how?)

4. What other difference has KWMC made?

5. What are your favourite KWMC memories?

If you’d like to get involved, please send your responses to Rachel or drop in to KWMC.  The collection will be available on our website and may also appear in print; responses may be edited slightly for length.

If you’d like more details about our plans for 2016 please get in touch. Keep an eye on this page for more details too.

Highly Commended at Go Green Awards

Knowle West Media Centre was Highly Commended in the Most Improved Travel and Transport Category at the Go Green 2016 Awards this February.

Geographically, we know that KWMC can be a difficult location for some to get to – up a steep hill and south of the city centre. As an organisation we have been trying hard to reduce the number of single-person car journeys and the number of cars in our car park.

Our Green Actions have included getting an electric bike for staff to travel to local meetings, starting a car share scheme and taking part in Big Commuting Challenge where we came third in our category. We’ve also had a team cycle day which encouraged three members of staff who had not cycled for years to get back on a bike.

Staff have embraced alternative methods of transport – with numbers cycling and using public transport increasing and we hope to encourage visitors to our site to take up the challenge too!

We picked up our laser-cut award at The Bristol Hotel on 18th February.  The awards were manufactured in our making space KWMC: The Factory – our technicians did a good job at keeping it a secret from the wider team and we’re all delighted with the award!

See the full list of award winners on the Go Green blog.

Meet the 2015 Junior Digital Producers

In October 2015 Knowle West Media Centre employed eight young people aged 18-24 as Junior Digital Producers (JDPs), a role supported by the Creative Employment Programme.

During their six months’ employment with us, the JDPs learn in-demand digital skills from industry experts, such as coding, animation, filmmaking and design, whilst being supported to improve their confidence and professionalism. Their training takes place within the context of a ‘real life’ project that aims to produce a positive social impact by working with local people to respond to an identified need.

They are the third group to be employed in this way – the first having worked on the Data Patchwork programme and the second on an interactive documentary.

The 2015 JDPs are Alex, Chris, Dipo, Gage, George, Kelly, Raddy and Yasmin. This year the JDPs will be working on the food research project Who decides what’s in my fridge?

JDPs 2015

Seven of the eight Junior Digital Producers for 2015: Gage, Chris, Yasmin, Alex, Raddy, George and Dipo. Not pictured: Kelly.

 

 

Turn your ‘junk’ into gems this Black Friday

As Black Friday dawns and Christmas shoppers start the hunt for gifts at bargain prices, a group of artists are encouraging people to breathe new life into old toys – rather than throwing them away to make room for new ones.

Over the last few months we’ve been collaborating with artists Ludic Rooms have been touring the streets of Knowle West with a toy trike, collecting unwanted toys and games and recording the stories behind them.

We discovered that, a month before Christmas, many people take stock of their toys and games, throwing old ones away to make room for the new gifts they’re buying or expecting. Items are often in a useable condition or can be easily mended.

With funding from the Bristol 2015 Neighbourhood Arts Programme for Green Capital year, we ran a number of ‘toy hacks’ where children and families worked with artists and technologists to make new toys and games from the donated items, transforming them into something that everyone could enjoy.

A broken garage for toy cars became a wildlife haven as it was remodelled as the Minibeast Hotel. A solitary bike wheel and some wooden beams came together to form a balance board.  Hundreds of broken character toys and fast food freebies were reborn as new exciting action figures.

Working with Ludic Rooms we’ve also produced a series of short films recommending simple and affordable ways to recycle old toys. These will be launched online on 27th November – to coincide with Black Friday.

Melissa Mean, Head of our Arts Programme, said: “There’s another side to Black Friday: as well as the shopping and buying, lots of toys and games are discarded that could easily be transformed into something new. We hope The Forgotten Toys project will encourage people to see “junk” in a different way and try out our easy and fun ways to reuse old toys. If we just use our imagination, we can reduce the amount we needlessly send to landfill, bring people together, and create something playful and fun in the process.”

Dom Breadmore from Ludic Rooms said: “We’ve been really inspired by the stories and playful memories of the people we’ve met whilst out on the toy trike in Knowle West. We’re really hoping that this project will inspire families to look again at the toys that we all consider throwing away to see the forgotten play potential in these objects – often beyond how they were intended to be used. The only limit is our collective imagination.”

Watch the films on Facebook from 27th November.

For more information visit www.forgotten.toys or contact KWMC on 0117 903 0444.

Can you spot the Bedminster elves?

Mystery and making are coming to the streets of Bedminster and Southville this Christmas, as a troupe of elves pop up in unexpected places…

100 elves, decorated by primary school children and an artist, will be hidden in windows, trees and around the streets for people to find from Saturday 28 November. The Elf Takeover is coordinated by Bedminster Town Team, who have been working with us, artist Russ Henry of Hot Soup House and a local primary school to bring some locally made magic to the streets.

For two weeks in November our digital manufacturing space became a Santa’s workshop, with the cutting and sanding of 100 wooden elves.

Our team then supported 60 six year olds from St Peter’s CofE Primary School in Bishopsworth to design and decorate their own elves. The sessions were part of our new education programme for schools, Maker Lab in a Box, which offers opportunities for schoolchildren to experiment with digital manufacturing and new technologies, try out the latest making tools, and explore careers in the industry.

Artist Russ Henry designed 40 elves to complete the troupe.

The Elf Takeover is run by Bedminster Town Team and will feature four properties – The Elf and Safety Office, Elf Hotel, Santa’s Mailroom and the Elf Workshop – and each of the properties will be interactive, featuring voice activated experiences, lighting effects and falling snow. Several elves will be accompanied by ‘sElfie sticks’, so people can capture the moment.

To find out more about the Bedminster Elves visit their Facebook page.

For more details about making at KWMC contact Justin. For details of our schools’ programme contact Penny.

 

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Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
Bristol
BS4 1NL
+44 (0) 117 903 0444
enquiries@kwmc.org.uk

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