I along with three co-workers formed digital:works as an educational charity in 2007. This organisation grew out of my aim to use the arts as an exciting way for people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with and learn more about others from their local community. Our principal aim is to give people a voice using a range of creative mediums.
Our first digital:works initiated project is ‘Our Working Lives’. This project came about through my negotiating with a local group of volunteers, Poole museum, along with my interests of documenting everyday history with local archives and new work. We are investigating the working environment and recording peoples memories of employment. These will lead onto an exhibition at Poole museum, 2010-11 and a book with enclosed audio CD featuring extracts from the oral histories.
Initially I had envisaged that the project would mix the now with the historical information. And we would photograph the work place, along with the working structures around us (i.e. inside buildings – desks, computers, machines – and the actual buildings themselves in the landscape). This is an aspect I have not yet had the chance to secure funding for, but I’m still looking.
One part of the project they did fund is that we will be doing a coach tour of the industrial estates. Along with the tour there will be a commentary that will mix bits of the oral histories with contemporary sounds and live observations from one of the volunteers (who used to do coach tours of Bath).
Free Time, Our stories of leisure then and now
This project has feed directly into my latest digital:works project, Free Time, Our stories of leisure then and now - www.freetimeourstories.org.uk. This is an intergenerational oral history project studying the changing nature of our leisure time over the last 60 years. With volunteer investigators recording oral histories of our leisure time. Hunting out stories that illuminate the past and shine light on our times.
This project aims to preserve and capture memories, to ensure that an important part of our heritage will not be lost. This new archive will be housed at Dorset History Centre, so that future generations can discover the views and feelings of ordinary people through the descriptive accounts of their experience. Young and old will collaborate and share in a range of activities leading up to an exhibition at Dorset County Museum in March 2014, with a FreeTime app.