Its been really satisfying going back to people who were involved in the Square Mile project over 5 years ago and finding out what impact that had on their lives. Square Mile worked with local people, local artists and environmental scientists to “map” their immediate neighbourhood through art – photography, storytelling, dance etc and to look at the people that lived their and their lives; the environment – bio diversity, waste etc and the cultural environment. Five years on people had strong memories of the programme – what worked, the new relationships built and some of the challenges in doing this work.
The project took place in 6 cities in the UK and also in: Johannesburg; Delhi; Karachi; Dakar; Tehran; Toronto and all the projects were linked on line. The ambition to have a global conversation was a bit ambitious as the technology, even six years ago, was not really up to it.
The key learning from reflection was that it is important to give time and listen to the natural rhythm to the work. Not easy when their are funding cycles involved. That building trust is a slow and intense process; that people have remarkable solutions to problems and fresh approaches to local challenges if the time and circumstances are there to listen.
The report has been written as part of the cultural intermediaries project.