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A Sense of Place: Sydney's Inner West

"A Sense of Place: Sydney's Inner West" is a participatory photography project run in collaboration with the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre (NNC) and the Boarding House Outreach Service.

In February 2015 local photographer and facilitator Lisa Cross will run photography and storytelling workshops with eight residents of general boarding houses in Sydney’s Inner West.

Over three two hour sessions this diverse group will learn photography, editing and story telling fundamentals, share their ideas in a creative way while identifying issues that are important to them and produce a photographic story from their point of view. Disposable cameras will be used to ensure the project is accessible and the need for technology is reduced. It will also force participants to explore their sense of place through the frame of a viewfinder instead of a screen.

Boarding house residents are commonly at risk of homelessness and often experience social isolation. Taking part in “A Sense of Place” will give participants the opportunity to connect with their community, empower them to tell their story and raise awareness in the wider community of issues such as homelessness, the effects of gentrification and life in a boarding house.

In order to create the final artwork for the Newtown Art Seat the five prints produced by each participant and a handwritten description of the series will be arranged on and attached to white card. This will then be re-photographed in the studio with a high-resolution digital camera to produce a single digital image of the whole series. The final eight series will then be combined in a layout for the Newtown Art Seat.

To coincide with the finished work being displayed on the Newtown Art Seat, an opening celebration will be held at the NNC for the participants, organisers and their friends and family. Each participant will be given a certificate of participation and the artworks will also be displayed inside the NNC.

Funded by Sydney (November 2014)