Sharing life experience through the art of storytelling
Our health experiences throughout our lives are affected by many factors, including when we were born, our social circumstances, where we live and work and our life experiences as we grow up and grow older. We all have some experiences of healthcare in our lives, and this project aims to explore the healthcare experiences of people living in and around Stoke-on-Trent.
And the Doctor Said is a joint research project between Staffordshire University (Faculty of Arts and Creative Technologies) and Keele University brings together storytellers, creative writers and local community groups to take part in a series of workshops designed to explore and creatively record people’s experiences.
The project runs from September 2012 through to August 2013. Throughout the project we will be updating our social media space on Ning at creatingcommunities.ning.com, so please join us there!
And the Doctor Said is an innovative new research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Connected Communities Fund. It is a partnership between Staffordshire University and Keele University, with additional support from Northumbria University.
The project brings together residents of North Staffordshire with creative writers and storytellers to reflect on experiences of health, illness and medicine in the region. These narratives are influenced partly by the industrial legacy of North Staffordshire’s past, but also by the realities of people’s present day lives.
A series of two-day workshops is taking place in community, health and academic locations. These are being facilitated by creative practitioners, including award-winning Writer and Storyteller Maria Whatton; Actor and Playwright Deborah McAndrew; Historian and Creative Writer Dave Reeves, and Life Writing Facilitator Chrissie Hall. Through creative writing, participants are expressing unique perspectives on their health experiences, which we anticipate will help to inform medical practitioners and health policy makers and contribute to future improvements in health and well-being in North Staffordshire.
Discussions, activities and readings are drawing on people’s personal experiences and local knowledge to produce a series of writings capturing many different viewpoints. Participants are right at the centre of the activity, so that the outcomes are being driven by community members and project partners, rather than academics. People’s stories and creative writings will be widely shared, through exhibitions, publications and radio broadcasts. We anticipate that these narratives will be valuable to sociologists, historians and health experts for many years to come.