My virtual interaction with virtual friends is slowing down – lately to communicate via the internet, blog, Twitter has not been motivating. I have wanted more physical social connection – you know that old fashioned thing called talking with each other, hearing voices and accents, intonation, touching a shoulder, knee or hand, making eye contact, eating and drinking together.
I know we had put out a whole load of tweets in the lead up to Picture Me in March but I cannot stress how satisfying it has been to talk with people face to face, just being part of a community, shared thinking, shared laughter, shared food, shared fun. Reflecting with a great talented bunch of artists in Ireland talking about our practice, work, lives, and then and attending an international conference again it was all about the chat before and after the main events. Shared experiences are incredible – it’s all about being offered the opportunity.
This weekend gone we have been on the streets of Wandsworth with Wandsworth Whispers – stories snippets we gathered from older Wandsworth residents. Fantastical stories, murder stories, dark humour, songs, oral history and shared their stories with the wider community on the street asking them to add to the story or tell us another one if they were so inspired by the voices of older people.
Well let me tell you how incredible we humans are, how generously we give and receive gifts – its all about the offer, its all about how we touch each other with honesty and connect for a moment or ten minutes or hours.
We had set out simply to reach older people. But our journey has taken us further: we have ended up touching people across ages, cultures, religion and gender. It wasn’t spectacle, it wasn’t big it was a natural creative collaboration with diverse individuals.