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Love the life you live ... live the life you love

Posted: Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:13 by Amy Barnes

Love the life you live ... live the life you love

By Carol Leeming FRSA

[You can read Carol's response to the Affective Digital Histories' Creative Commissions call - on the Centre for New Writing's website here]

I have now completed my successful Affective Digital Histories Writing commission, a choreopoem titled Love the life you live ... live the life you love and submitted it to the Centre for New Writing, University of Leicester, part of the Affective Histories Team. For the project, creative digital designers have been working with my text alongside the text of other writers commissioned by the project to develop a mobile phone app. The result of all this creative work will be launched, along with the accompanying phone app, on 27th November 2014 in the Cultural Quarter, at the Light Bulb Studio, LCB Depot, 31 Rutland Street, Leicester. I will be reading a short excerpt of my choreopoem at this illustrious launch event, in the area that inspired it -I simply can't wait!

On reflection it has been a fascinating journey, of new experiences and learning, meeting and linking with new people: a range of professionals, academics, designers and, of course, other wonderful writers. I appreciated the bursary, the research materials and information that were made available for us writers, i.e. information about the area, its local social and industrial history. This enabled me to be inspired and write confidently, as I could access, as part of my research phase for the piece, all the information I needed. Then, later on, the opportunity of working with creative digital designers for the very first time - specifically for a phone app.

I enjoyed the marvellous experience, (if somewhat challenging) of sharing my choreopoem, with a live local audience, who sat riveted for about an hour at Embrace Arts, followed by a lively Q&A and very positive feedback, judging by the questionnaires they completed! Creating further interest, in my writing and future professional productions, and also in the Cultural Quarter area among those unfamiliar with it. An added bonus were the two members of the audience whose family ancestors had worked and lived around the area in the past. All of these new opportunities and experiences, contributed greatly to my knowledge and further professional, creative development as a writer.

It therefore provided a great chance for me to contribute ambient literature – to enrich visitors' experience of the Cultural QuarterI am sure that all the different components of the project, e.g. the writing and use of the phone app etc., will add immeasurably to changing perceptions of and how people will experience the area – it has already done so for me! I am very excited by all of this and other events and activities, e.g. a Writers Sharing Day, planned for the future by the Affective Digital Histories Team, for further public engagement with this very innovative project. Lastly, I believe the project celebrates and acknowledges, by combining together not only the industrial and social past of the area, but importantly, peoples' shared memories, recollections and speculations, all of which, in some way, have left an imprint of themselves. Creating an important legacy for the people of Leicester, to be added to for the future.

Read Carol's blog here.

Photo: Marshall's Music Depot, now Helsinki. Courtesy of Ambrose Musiywa.

Tags: Leicester, Cultural Quarter, stories, St Georges, creative commissions, creative writing, LCB depot

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