Last night saw the exhibition of the Knowing My Milton Keynes project. A huge thanks to Rob and Liz Gifford who arranged refreshments for everyone. The library space was filled with 17 people, I was delighted as this event is taking place during StonyWords, two weeks of free literary festival events, so there were other free events people could have visited. Yes, this might be an ego boost, but it also a wonderful way to inform myself that my research that I have been slaving away at for the last two years has value beyond the realms of academic achievement, it effects real world situations and people.
I was very proud of the participants performing their stories live and was delighted to see so many people using the computer displays to watch the digital stories. Talking about the research is becoming so easy now, the Q&A at the performances was so good at focusing my thoughts and developing ways of conveying my work in no-nonsense terms.
Due to slightly over-running the Q&A session was shorter than I had hoped, but it was great for the participants to be involved with that and to again reflect on the process, and also my teaching.
That really is it now - Knowing My Milton Keynes practical project is done. A shame, I have really enjoyed this aspect, and would have loved to perhaps have done far more, not because the research needed it, but seeing the effect it has had on people has been incredible. Rarely do I get a chance to work so closely with people over an extended period, nor to have the feedback after a performance. The discussions as a form of critique and development have been enormously insightful for my personal practice. Now the challenge is to find ways that this sort of thing can be developed beyond the realms of the PhD, but I think perhaps write it up first and finish!
Sometimes known as storyteller Red Phoenix, Terrie has been a storyteller since 2004, and run her own storytelling and performing arts company since 2007. In 2016 she began a PhD in applied storytelling and heritage exploring how storytelling as heritage can impact on the sense of place experienced by residents in Milton Keynes in England.