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One of the things I’ve been working on alongside Natasha are films of Big Story interviews with key ‘movers and shakers’ from Birmingham’s creative and cultural economy. The aim of the interviews has been to develop a common understanding of the site-specific and broader contextual stories around the development of the creative and cultural economy in each place. These narratives bridge the historical research by Ian and Natasha and governance research by Beth, Karen and I. Filming in Birmingham has already been done with: Roger Shannon, Film Producer; Derek Bishton, creator of photography magazine Ten.8; Anita Bhalla, Chair of Creative Cities Partnership and Head of Public Space Broadcasting, BBC; and Lara Ratnarajah, digital and business expert.  Overlapping with the Manchester work, Natasha and I also travelled down to London to interview Ben Kelly, the designer of The Hacienda nightclub. The rest of the Manchester Big Story interviews will be conducted by Natasha, Beth and Karen using walking techniques and photographs in an aural and visual mapping of the stories.  We’re hoping to facilitate focus groups in both Manchester and Birmingham at the end to share and refine the stories, building a picture of the distinctiveness of each place. Using the concept of ‘stories’, the Big Story methodology we’ve developed will develop urban narratives about change, transformation and the reconfiguration of places in dialogue with existing creative cities discourse.

 I’ve attached a short 6 minute clip of the first interview which features Roger Shannon, shot by film-makers Aman Alimshand and Karishma Popat from Birmingham City University. Enjoy!

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