26 Shining Light: Lucy Beevor – Bengal to Camden

There is an ambition: An exhibition, strung along the black gloss, wrought iron railings edging Coram Fields, that will tell the stories of local residents who emigrated from Bangladesh to Camden, created by the young people of Bloomsbury and Kings Cross.

There is a plan: Five Festival Trainees – Noha, Bushra, Labiba, Wylan and Yusuf – will attend workshops and seminars run by experts in audio and video production, photography and projection, mapping and podcasts. They will visit the British Library and the British Museum, access archives, listen to experts. They will examine, analyse and absorb.

There is a journey: They will each research, draft questions and schedule interviews with members of their own families, members of the Kings Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Association and the Holborn Community Association. They will sit with their interviewees and carefully, respectfully elicit their stories. They will record these conversations, scribble notes, type them up. They will take photographs, gather documents, uncover artefacts that bring these stories to life.

They’ll pool these materials, scatter them across a table, share them across laptops.  They’ll recount the stories that inspired them, the ones that moved them to tears, the ones that wandered in unexpected directions. They’ll listen to their fellow Trainees’ stories, chew on pencils and fingernails. They’ll stay up for hours, staring at a wall in their bedroom in search of an idea, a connection, a golden nugget. The next morning, out of the blue at the bus stop, they’ll be electrified by inspiration. 

Together, they’ll realise they have too many images, too much information, too many stories. They’ll reflect, distill and curate. They’ll argue about frame type, font size and laminate. They’ll feel the pressure of deadlines hurtling towards them. They’ll wonder if they can get it done, if it will be good enough, if anyone will come.  They’ll stay up late, drink too much coffee, hardly sleep. They’ll feel the responsibility of someone else’s story in their hands. 

There is an exhibition: Strung along the black gloss, wrought iron railings edging Coram Fields, an exhibition of beauty and wonder that tells the stories of local residents who emigrated from Bangladesh to Camden. It has been created by the young people of Bloomsbury and Kings Cross and is there from 15-24 October. Come and see it. It will be well worth the journey.

Lucy Beevor

> More information about the Bengal to Camden exhibition

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