Oldham, as with many other towns in Greater Manchester has a long history of the High Street being a venue for social interaction and change. From sharing a portion of chips on the way home from swimming lessons to visiting the local museum or art gallery on a school trip.
As the world changes to be more digitally inclusive so does the use of public spaces. Last year we worked with two young people from Oldham, alongside eight other individuals across 5 areas of Greater Manchester to take part in This Place [of mine] digital arts project.
Led by Future Everything, a digital art and cultural agency and funded by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, this project brought people together to reimagine our high streets using digital art and creativity. We were thrilled to be one of five partners across Greater Manchester to have local young people reimagine, provoke and explore their spaces in creative and unusual ways.
“This place [of mine] feels very much like a project for our time. Working with multiple partners across Greater Manchester we feel that it is incredibly important to give a voice to young people, to have a creative, social, and political say on the future of their high street. The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact across all aspects of life and our relationship to public space has radically shifted. We hope to embrace the opportunities that virtual engagement can offer.”
Chris Write, This Place [of mine] producer
Big questions need big answers and the best way to explore the high street, youth voice and ideas is to create exciting and playful ways to explore individual ideas and wishes. Each borough was connected with a digital artist who supported the young people to develop their ideas, the Citizen Futurists work can also be found on the hub.
After weeks of workshops, conversation and collaboration the group have created a virtual playground where you can explore the artworks and ideas for the future. Maybe you’ll be inspired with some ideas of your own!
Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of the This Place [of mine] blog posts as we explore the work created by young people from Oldham and the exciting next steps of the project coming very soon!