What’s Your Story in Handsworth

Last Saturday I went along to the what’s My Story workshop at Handsworth Library arranged as part of series of sessions that we have coming up to help encourage local residents to become community Journalists. This first session was kicked off with an inspirational talk by journalist Derek Bishton who along with Brian Homer started a photography magazine Ten 8 whilst living in Handsworth in the 1980’s.

What was interesting is that many of the issues that Derek spoke of that interested them in producing Ten 8 are still here today. They were keen to ensure that people were able to represent themselves this inspired the Self Portrait edition. Local people were able to take a self portrait of themselves against a deliberate white canvas so as not to link the images in any way to preconceived assumptions people may have about Handsworth or the people photographed.

Derek talked of the importance of media as a powerful tool that people can use to represent themselves. Unlike the challenges that Bishton & Homer had back in the 1970s in producing photographic images and a paper magazine  many people now can simple use their mobile phone and digital media to publish images or stories in seconds.

If you’re interested in getting involved there is an opportunity to learn new skills in community journalism, photography and using social media. The sessions will be run by Brian Homer which is a unique chance to learn from one of the funding members of Ten 8 and use this knowledge to help produce the next edition of the Hands on Handsworth Magazine.

There is an opportunity for this magazine to be developed by local people to become a resource and tool to talk about what matters to the local people of Handsworth. If you’re interested call Tracey Thorne on 0121 303 3401 or email tracey.thorne@birmingham.gov.uk

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