APRIL 2015

An oral histories project commissioned by Hackney Cultural Development Team, designed to capture the stories of those who can remember 1965, when Hackney merged and became the borough that it is today. Hackney residents tapped into personal memories and inter-generational conversations around local issues and change to explore and discuss the extensive changes in attitudes and behaviours in society as a whole over the past fifty years. 

Brief and objectives

To celebrate Hackney’s 50-year anniversary (Hackney, Stoke Newington and Shoreditch merged in 1965) the borough’s library services and the Council run older residents initiative; The Hackney Circle, aimed to place an emphasis on this historical date through a collection of oral histories and memories.  The targets were to foster multi-generational participation, create opportunities for residents over 55 to be active, develop new skills for participants, value older generation’s knowledge and memories and create dialogue between older and younger residents. 

Proposal and Outcome

A social event at The Hackney museum where local residents with memories of Hackney in 1965 were invited to meet each other, be introduced to all the project participants and begin conversations around their personal stories and experiences. This is where we met the potential participants for the intergenerational conversations planned at the museum.

An afternoon of audio training where members of The Hackney Circle where invited to learn how to interview and record oral histories with local residents.
Two reminiscence and listening sessions where organised at the local libraries for residents to share and record their memories, however these were poorly attended so both became a one-on-one interview to be used as oral history archives.

Intergenerational Conversations at The Hackney Museum
3 local residents were paired with someone with similar interests or background or age they were in 1965. 
Each participant was filmed and asked to describe their assumptions they had about their conversation partner(s) before being taken into a private room for a guided conversation. Once the conversation was over the participants were filmed again to gage their reactions and insights. 
The 3 films and 3 edited conversations were made available online and shown at the Hackney Museum as an addition to the @50 exhibition until it closed in August 2015.



Remembering ‘65 Listening Party - live radio discussion broadcast
A two hour radio round table discussion at The Eastern Curve Garden, broadcast live via an online streaming platform.  Participants were invited to share their memories and talk about the changes both locally and generally over the past 50 years.  The result was an informal lively discussion with some fascinating insights into social and local history. 

Curation, workshops, audio and multi-media production: Lucia Scazzocchio
Film production and photography: Kuba Nowak