JULY 2014

A live radio broadcast in collaboration with The Decorators, commissioned by Hackney Heritage Services. Using The Decorators 'On Air' mobile radio stall set up on The Narrow Way in Hackney, local residents were invited to participate in an afternoon of conversation and memory sharing about how the local area has changed over the years. 

Brief and objectives

Heritage is intrinsically valued, yet people often find they are disconnected to their local heritage either through migration or lack of time to learn about the stories of a place.  When the opportunity arises to discover more about the place were people live, work and shop people they are keen to engage and share their stories and experiences; often resulting in an increased feeling of pride and greater sense of place and cohesion. The Narrow Way should be identifiable as a community space as well as place of commerce; people will visit a place where they feel a sense of community and connection.  Loyalty to the high street can be a powerful contributor to economic stability.  It is hoped that this programme will work towards strengthening the Narrow Way and its sense of place for local residents. 

Proposal and Outcome

A programme designed to bring people together by sharing their stories of the Narrow Way.  Experienced Heritage facilitators will encourage shoppers to share and record their stories of the High Street using historic photographs from Hackney Archives as prompts to conversations. Stories will be recorded in the mobile recording studio. The content will be edited enabling it to be used within Hackney museum and Hackney Library as oral history archives. The use of a live radio show framework and format creates a 'public' event for those in the area, an entertaining radio show and means of engagement for those who choose to listen online as well as oral history archives from the recording. 

This totally improvised day long radio show relied on the fact that people would engage and share their stories and once the ball was rolling they did. This really demonstrated how by creating the right framework, total strangers begin to tell their stories and once they are locked into a conversation its always incredible how open people become. This was a public shopping street where all the interviews where amplified via speakers to the whole area, yet people did talk and memories where shared. That is is the power of creating the right framework for a Social Broadcast.  As these recordings are now only accessible via Hackney Library archives we created a Hackney Voices radio to broadcast some of the interviews captured that day. 

Radio stall design and fabrication: The Decorators
Radio show production: Lucia Scazzocchio
Radio show hosts: Lucia Scazzocchio, Ana Xavier, Martha Mc Alpine, Carla Thomas