Image by: Sarah Evans

On Saturday I was asked to speak on behalf of the Manchester Archives at a Pride fringe event called ‘A Little Piece of Our Heart’. It is an intergenerational story sharing project where members of the LGBT community were interviewed by young people from LGBT Youth North West group and asked to share their experiences of the heart. They were led by peer research trainer Sarah Evans from Art With Heart and facilitated by Claire Holmes.

The launch event for the project was at a room above the Lass O Gowrie pub down by the BBC on Saturday 20th August. There was a screening of the short film that was put together using the stories & the audio recordings were played. There were 2 showings; the one at 2pm was quite quiet but the 4pm showing had so many people we could all barely fit in the room!

I was asked, along with representatives from the Pride festival team, to talk about how important it is to capture LGBT history and how great it is that young people have been interested in collecting intergenerational LGBT stories. I also added some information on the archives, what we hold and why I think it is important to preserve personal history. It was great to see a project that was so honest, open and heartfelt and after the films and audio were played there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. Afterwards a few people came up to me to ask for more information on the archives and what we do, I showed them the set of images we already have on the LGBT history of Manchester and encouraged them to use and possibly add to the collection.

Sarah Evans who organised the event said she was very proud of the end result and also at how many people showed up to see something that they had been a part of. The event raised £84.84 for the LGBT Youth North West group thanks to donations given on the day.

All of the young people involved were really pleased with the positive reactions to their project with one exclaiming it was: “AMAZING! It was the best thing ever and I’m proud of how much we made for LGBT youth northwest!”

The film will be kept for prosperity at the North West Film Archive and can also be viewed here:

 

Listen to the audio stories here:

http://soundcloud.com/art-with-heart/a-little-piece-of-our-first

http://soundcloud.com/art-with-heart/a-little-piece-of-discovery

http://soundcloud.com/art-with-heart/a-little-piece-of-lgbt-support

Have a look at our LGBT History Images here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/manchesterarchiveplus/sets/72157625649694641/

By Alison Kennedy – Opening Up Archives Trainee

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