Well October was a bit of whirlwind… but three, yes THREE, festivals later and we are still standing! Here’s a little post on what we’ve been up to at these festivals and what we have learned from them…
As part of Get Online week, Wigan Council run an annual digital festival – Go Fest – and with our fingers in many digital pies in the Borough we thought we’d better get involved! As part of the festival we ran a few extra special Tea and Tech parties that included working with the Abram Ward Coop and their volunteers to deliver a tea party that looked at digital employment skills, teaming up with the Bickernet Project to help develop the digital skills of folk in the Bickershaw area and getting to grips with Pinterest and Google Search functions with a Dementia reading group at Golborne Library. At the closing weekend of Go Fest we did a little experiment in workshop style and piloted ‘Did Curiosity REALLY kit the cat?’. Fostering an environment of curiosity and creativity, this event explored how digital tools can be used in the pursuit of knowledge through collaborative learning and co-creation. During the session, the folk who joined us used creative, critical thinking skills to work in small teams on research tasks, using the digital tools within Wigan Library to find, assess and present back their findings resulting in two proposals for apps for social good and one qualitative research project… all done in about 5 hours on the back of a lush buffet! This strategy for creating curious learning environments is definitely something we will be working on in the future…
Liverpool Radical Film Festival
One of our founding Directors, Hayley Trowbridge, also has her hands in the Liverpool Radical Film Festival (LRFF) pie. As part of this role, earlier in the year she co-organised the national #peoplepower screening events that saw the Radical Film Network (to which LRFF belongs) gather a collection of its affiliated groups together to show through film, the power that the people have when they unite over a common cause for a collective struggle. This coordination of simultaneous screenings of the same films across the geography of the UK was the first for the Network whose overall aim is to support the development of a sustainable, oppositional film culture. At Liverpool Radical Film Festival 2015, Hayley presented to the audience how this event was organised and its impact… and even managed to squeeze in a screening of one of the #peoplepower films – Nick Broomfield’s A Time Comes. Intrigued and excited by this presentation and feedback from the other organisations and individuals who took part, the Radical Film Network is now setting up their next simultaneous film screening event for the May Bank Holiday 2016 and Hayley will be working with the LRFF and also our friends at Wigan S.T.E.A.M to put on events in Liverpool and Wigan… so watch this space!
And straight from the closing screening of LRFF 2015 on the Sunday evening, Hayley was back on the Festival showboat with Wigan S.T.E.A.M on the Monday working with a team of young people to produce a range of media and creative content on what Wigan S.T.E.A.M does and the S.T.E.A.M Fest activities… all in 12 hours over 3 days! Sounds like a daunting task… nah… not for us! During the 3 days, the young people worked with us to produce business card designs and flyers, a scrapbook of the Festival, a photoset, a short film (see below) and a stonkingly good website (if we do say so ourselves)!
But much more important than the development of the digital skills of the young people involved in the festival, was their overall personal development. At the start of the three days, the team was anxious and nervous about the tasks set them; fear of failing was a big issue… but with a bit of creative resilience, critical thinking and problem solving training thrown into the mix, the team were ready to shine and take these skills with them into any challenge that life throws at them. Here’s a blog post from Emily, one of the S.T.E.A.M team, who pushed herself to achieve so much during the three days!
So there you have it… that’s our little festival season all wrapped up and blogged about… looking forward to more of the same next year. But now its time for a well-deserved rest (of sorts) and to go back to the day job of running the odd workshop here and there! See you guys soon with more techie shenanigans!