Valerie Walkerdine, Sally Mackey and David Studdert
How can we use the arts and humanities to support community cohesion in Abergavenny? This was the question that a group of Abergavenny citizens and the researchers asked. This project was jointly designed, created and produced by researchers and townspeople in partnership with town and county councils and a number of community groups.
We began by creating a street theatre event in the centre of town with actors asking what people liked about the town and what they would like to change. On the basis of the answers, a number of activities were developed, including a treasure hunt, a local history Facebook page ‘Forgotten Abergavenny’, a film of an Abergavenny version of ‘500 miles’, an evening at the Borough Theatre showcasing ‘Abergavenny Voices’ and ‘Picnic at the Pool’, a festival in Bailey Park celebrating the open air pool and including a community-made mural on the site of the old swimming pool.
You can see a short documentary about this work here:
You can see a film of the special Abergavenny song here:
The very successful project demonstrated how much can be achieved by using the arts and humanities approaches. Like the previous ‘Micro-sociality’ project, this one worked with the idea that community is created through micro-social action, which can, in this case, also be understood as small performance acts.
Here is a gallery of photos related to the project: