True Tales for Change —
A Project for a Fairer Future

True Tales for Change — A Project for a Fairer Future

What does it feel like to live in one of the wealthiest cities in the UK … and not know how you’re going to pay your heating bill?
What does it feel like to be a vulnerable person … in an unassailable place?
What does it feel like to earn a place at one of the world’s greatest universities ... and not feel like you belong?
Everyone has a story to tell!
But in an unequal city, how can we be sure all voices are being heard?

About the Project

In collaboration with Pivotal, we commissioned five local artists and a singer-songwriter to create works inspired by conversations with Cambridge people who have experienced inequality. The launch event of the project took place at The Escape in the Grafton Centre on 11th January 2020, with the exhibition running through 13th January 2020. The launch event featured:

Visual and digital works of art from Jill Eastland, Kay Goodridge, Sa’adiah Khan and the Zadissa Sisters

Original song created and performed by singer-songwriter Victoria Jones

Open Mic Storytelling with stories from accompanying storytelling workshops, led by Cambridge Bard Glenys Newton and artist Jill Eastland

A talk by Susan Buckingham, researcher and writer on gender and environmental justice

The short film A Choice to Look by Joe Cook & Abdullah Shah

The Artists

The Artists

Jill Eastland

A multimedia artist, Jill’s work is strongly research based, usually beginning with a social, political or environmental issue of concern. She is an experienced proponent of activist or protest art and recently has been particularly concerned with issues of homelessness and housing inequality and the endangered planet. She regularly works with marginalised communities, leading workshops and raising awareness through her arts collective, Rebel Arts. Want to learn more about the conversations between Jill and Emma, Jill’s conversation partner, and see the artworks they created together?

Kay Goodridge

Kay is a digital artist and photographer. She creates and prioritises her own art practice alongside working as a community artist, teacher, organiser and facilitator with a wide range of groups and organisations. She has been artist in residence at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, the Leper Chapel, the Cambridge Museum of Technology, with CARA (Council for Assisting Refugee Academics) and at Peterborough Prison. She is currently working on digital storytelling projects with Anglia Ruskin University and with Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign. Want to listen to a conversation between Kay and her friend and conversation partner, Sally, and view the work Kay created?

Sa'adiah Khan

Sa’adiah works as a freelance and community artist from Cambridge, where she studied Fine Art & Printmaking at the Cambridge School of Art. Combining her interests in psychology and philosophy with her art in her personal practise, Sa’adiah primarily explores mental well-being, focusing on trust, balance, facing fears and letting go using intuitive ‘flow’ art. She uses multiple techniques on various surfaces including on upcycled functional items, as the results are often highly decorative and she hates waste. Sa’adiah is a director at Thrifts Walk Studios as part of the Cambridge Art Salon. She is also currently working with Oblique Arts, playing an integral role in The Mixed Bag Theatre team. Want to find out more about the collaboration between Sa’adiah and her conversation partner, Niyi, view the work Sa’adiah created and watch a TED Talk by Niyi?

Zadissa Sisters

Elmira and Ramona are sisters and collaborators who were born in Iran, grew up in Sweden and now live in the UK. They work as a team in an interdisciplinary manner and call themselves ‘Artivists’, a term that defines their practice at the intersection of arts and politics. The spectrum of their work covers illustration, participatory art events and storytelling as a means for social change. They have co-founded a number of cultural organisations with the aim of questioning norms and structures in the established arts and cultural spheres. Their experience of being refugees and migrants as well as identifying themselves as queers, has left an imprint on their body of work, which addresses different aspects of these identities. Want to learn more about the conversations between the Zadissa Sisters and Mrs B., their conversation partner, and see their work based on the conversations?

The Singer- Songwriter

Victoria Jones

Victoria is a teacher, singer, songwriter, recording artist, session singer and backing vocalist. She is the lead singer and songwriter for multi-award winning band Fred’s House, which has toured the UK and China. Want to see Victoria’s notes on her journey with Mark, her conversation partner, and listen to Victoria’s song, inspired by the conversations?

The Speaker

Susan Buckingham

Susan is an independent researcher and consultant on gender and environmental issues. With thirty years experience of academic research, teaching and management, and fifteen years experience of volunteering in women’s organisations, she now works independently on projects which will advance environmental and gender justice. “It is my deeply held belief that there can be no solutions to environmental problems without addressing social injustices, and that social and environmental problems, and their solutions, need to be understood as interconnected.” Want to read a short summary of Susan’s talk for this project?

The Storyteller

Glenys Newton

Glenys, the current Cambridge Bard, qualified as a social worker and worked in an adult community mental health team, child and adolescent mental health in schools and with families in their homes and, latterly, in adoption. She practices and teaches the ancient art of storytelling. Want to read Glenys’s notes on the importance of storytelling?

Jill Eastland

A multimedia artist, Jill’s work is strongly research based, usually beginning with a social, political or environmental issue of concern. She is an experienced proponent of activist or protest art and recently has been particularly concerned with issues of homelessness and housing inequality and the endangered planet. She regularly works with marginalised communities, leading workshops and raising awareness through her arts collective, Rebel Arts. Want to learn more about the conversations between Jill and Emma, Jill’s conversation partner, and see the artworks they created together?

Kay Goodridge

Kay is a digital artist and photographer. She creates and prioritises her own art practice alongside working as a community artist, teacher, organiser and facilitator with a wide range of groups and organisations. She has been artist in residence at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, the Leper Chapel, the Cambridge Museum of Technology, with CARA (Council for Assisting Refugee Academics) and at Peterborough Prison. She is currently working on digital storytelling projects with Anglia Ruskin University and with Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign. Want to listen to a conversation between Kay and her friend and conversation partner, Sally, and view the work Kay created?

Sa'adiah Khan

Sa’adiah works as a freelance and community artist from Cambridge, where she studied Fine Art & Printmaking at the Cambridge School of Art. Combining her interests in psychology and philosophy with her art in her personal practise, Sa’adiah primarily explores mental well-being, focusing on trust, balance, facing fears and letting go using intuitive ‘flow’ art. She uses multiple techniques on various surfaces including on upcycled functional items, as the results are often highly decorative and she hates waste. Sa’adiah is a director at Thrifts Walk Studios as part of the Cambridge Art Salon. She is also currently working with Oblique Arts, playing an integral role in The Mixed Bag Theatre team. Want to find out more about the collaboration between Sa’adiah and her conversation partner, Niyi, view the work Sa’adiah created and watch a TED Talk by Niyi?

Zadissa Sisters

Elmira and Ramona are sisters and collaborators who were born in Iran, grew up in Sweden and now live in the UK. They work as a team in an  interdisciplinary manner and call themselves ‘Artivists’, a term that  defines their practice at the intersection of arts and politics. The  spectrum of their work covers illustration, participatory art events and storytelling as a means for social change. They have co-founded a  number of cultural organisations with the aim of questioning norms and  structures in the established arts and cultural spheres. Their  experience of being refugees and migrants as well as identifying  themselves as queers, has left an imprint on their body of work, which  addresses different aspects of these identities. Want to learn more about the conversations between the Zadissa Sisters and Mrs B., their conversation partner, and see their work based on the conversations?

The Singer-Songwriter

Victoria Jones

Victoria is a teacher, singer, songwriter, recording artist, session singer and backing vocalist. She is the lead singer and songwriter for multi-award winning band Fred’s House, which has toured the UK and China. Want to see Victoria’s notes on her journey with Mark, her conversation partner, and listen to Victoria’s song, inspired by the conversations?

The Speaker

Susan Buckingham

Susan is an independent researcher and consultant on gender and environmental issues. With thirty years experience of academic research, teaching and management, and fifteen years experience of volunteering in women’s organisations, she now works independently on projects which will advance environmental and gender justice. “It is my deeply held belief that there can be no solutions to environmental problems without addressing social injustices, and that social and environmental problems, and their solutions, need to be understood as interconnected.” Want to read a short summary of Susan’s talk for this project?

The Storyteller

Glenys Newton

Glenys, the current Cambridge Bard, qualified as a social worker and worked in an adult community mental health team, child and adolescent mental health in schools and with families in their homes and, latterly, in adoption. She practices and teaches the ancient art of storytelling. Want to read Glenys’s notes on the importance of storytelling?

The Artists

Jill Eastland

A multimedia artist, Jill’s work is strongly research based, usually beginning with a social, political or environmental issue of concern. She is an experienced proponent of activist or protest art and recently has been particularly concerned with issues of homelessness and housing inequality and the endangered planet. She regularly works with marginalised communities, leading workshops and raising awareness through her arts collective, Rebel Arts. Want to learn more about the conversations between Jill and Emma, Jill’s conversation partner, and see the artworks they created together?

Kay Goodridge

Kay is a digital artist and photographer. She creates and prioritises her own art practice alongside working as a community artist, teacher, organiser and facilitator with a wide range of groups and organisations. She has been artist in residence at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, the Leper Chapel, the Cambridge Museum of Technology, with CARA (Council for Assisting Refugee Academics) and at Peterborough Prison. She is currently working on digital storytelling projects with Anglia Ruskin University and with Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign. Want to listen to a conversation between Kay and her friend and conversation partner, Sally, and view the work Kay created?

Sa'adiah Khan

Sa’adiah works as a freelance and community artist from Cambridge, where she studied Fine Art & Printmaking at the Cambridge School of Art. Combining her interests in psychology and philosophy with her art in her personal practise, Sa’adiah primarily explores mental well-being, focusing on trust, balance, facing fears and letting go using intuitive ‘flow’ art. She uses multiple techniques on various surfaces including on upcycled functional items, as the results are often highly decorative and she hates waste. Sa’adiah is a director at Thrifts Walk Studios as part of the Cambridge Art Salon. She is also currently working with Oblique Arts, playing an integral role in The Mixed Bag Theatre team. Want to find out more about the collaboration between Sa’adiah and her conversation partner, Niyi, view the work Sa’adiah created and watch a TED Talk by Niyi?

Zadissa Sisters

Elmira and Ramona are sisters and collaborators who were born in Iran, grew up in Sweden and now live in the UK. They work as a team in an interdisciplinary manner and call themselves ‘Artivists’, a term that defines their practice at the intersection of arts and politics. The spectrum of their work covers illustration, participatory art events and storytelling as a means for social change. They have co-founded a number of cultural organisations with the aim of questioning norms and structures in the established arts and cultural spheres. Their experience of being refugees and migrants as well as identifying themselves as queers, has left an imprint on their body of work, which addresses different aspects of these identities. Want to learn more about the conversations between the Zadissa Sisters and Mrs B., their conversation partner, and see their work based on the conversations?

The Singer-Songwriter

Victoria Jones

Victoria is a teacher, singer, songwriter, recording artist, session singer and backing vocalist. She is the lead singer and songwriter for multi-award winning band Fred’s House, which has toured the UK and China. Want to see Victoria’s notes on her journey with Mark, her conversation partner, and listen to Victoria’s song, inspired by the conversations?

The Speaker

Susan Buckingham

Susan is an independent researcher and consultant on gender and environmental issues. With thirty years experience of academic research, teaching and management, and fifteen years experience of volunteering in women’s organisations, she now works independently on projects which will advance environmental and gender justice. “It is my deeply held belief that there can be no solutions to environmental problems without addressing social injustices, and that social and environmental problems, and their solutions, need to be understood as interconnected.” Want to read a short summary of Susan’s talk for this project?

The Storyteller

Glenys Newton

Glenys, the current Cambridge Bard, qualified as a social worker and worked in an adult community mental health team, child and adolescent mental health in schools and with families in their homes and, latterly, in adoption. She practices and teaches the ancient art of storytelling. Want to read Glenys’s notes on the importance of storytelling?

The Gardener

Ruth Wood is the Project Co-ordinator and Horticultural Therapist for the Cambridge Cyrenians Allotment Project, which works with homeless people to teach gardening skills and grow organic produce across six full-sized allotment plots in the city. It provides specific horticulture training, supported work experience and a safe social environment for some of the most disadvantaged people in the city. Creativity, including creating a sense of belonging and encouraging those involved to design spaces that mean something to them, is integral to the project. We worked with Ruth to create a slideshow of the project and some of its people. Find out more here.

Ruth Wood is the Project Co-ordinator and Horticultural Therapist for the Cambridge Cyrenians Allotment Project, which works with homeless people to teach gardening skills and grow organic produce across six full-sized allotment plots in the city. It provides specific horticulture training, supported work experience and a safe social environment for some of the most disadvantaged people in the city. Creativity, including creating a sense of belonging and encouraging those involved to design spaces that mean something to them, is integral to the project. We worked with Ruth to create a slideshow of the project and some of its people. Find out more here.

The Film

“Most people who live in Cambridge probably have a better idea of what life is like in San Francisco than they do of what life is like ten miles down the road.”

 Featuring interviews with Rowan Williams, David Runciman, Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, this documentary explores the relation between the University of Cambridge and Britain’s most unequal city.

 Produced by Joe Cook & Abdullah Shah. Shared with permission. 
Archival footage: The British Council & Richard Wexler. Statistics: Cambridge City Council & The Guardian. See more information here.

“Most people who live in Cambridge probably have a better idea of what life is like in San Francisco than they do of what life is like ten miles down the road.”

 Featuring interviews with Rowan Williams, David Runciman, Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, this documentary explores the relation between the University of Cambridge and Britain’s most unequal city.

 Produced by Joe Cook & Abdullah Shah. Shared with permission. 
Archival footage: The British Council & Richard Wexler. Statistics: Cambridge City Council & The Guardian. See more information here.

The Catalogue

Thank You

Funding

  • Artists Union of England, Cambridge and Eastern Region
  • Cambridge Unite Community
  • Trades Council
  • UCU East of England Region
  • Unite the Union – Cambridge Health Branch

Storytelling Workshops

  • Abbey People
  • Cambridge Street Aid
  • Karin Voth Harman – Vicar St Andrew’s Church, Cherry Hinton
  • The Kings Hedges Family Support Project
  • The Red Hen Project
  • Turtle Dove

Media Coverage

Cambridge
105 Radio

6th January 2020

That's West
Anglia

17th January 2020

Cambridge
Independent

22nd January 2020

Cambridge
News

10th February 2020

Contact

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