Reviews, not of my performances, but today was filled the one-to-one reviews of the participants that had been in workshops. It was great to watch back their digital stories and oral stories and let the participants review their own work, and in doing so reflect upon the process and their connection with Milton Keynes.
The great thing about it was everyone felt they had gained from the experience, which considering people were giving up their time for free was very important for me. From a researcher point of view though the most important thing was that people engaged with stories and not only developed their interest in story and the power and process of story but felt it helped their affinity with the place they live. To that end my hypothesis has been proven, although - without meaning to sound arrogant, from my experience as a storyteller sharing local heritage stories prior to the start of the PhD I had witnessed many times people finding a sense of place through stories. The true test will be if I have collected enough data, the right sort of data, to prove my theory on paper in the writing up. However, that is for another day. Today I'm just happy that the participants were pleased with their work, enjoyed the experience and have been able to see a benefit in their volunteered time. Today I will enjoy the completion of the practical project - for now at least. Next stop the exhibition!
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.