Over the summer Andy and Shelagh undertook a number of consultations at CAT, the Talybont Show and Ceredigion Museum. Local inhabitants and visitors to the area revealed significant places of interest associated with water. These ranged from the poetic and nostalgic to concerns about the environment and biodiversity. The responses were fascinating and this process really revealed just how diverse our case study area is.
As a consequence, we looked again at our 'patch' and decided to adopt a more acute focus on Borth and Talybont, while still maintaining fuzzy enough boundaries that our enquiry might lead us upstream to other more remote communities. We're now looking to redevelop the community consultation process so that we can apply it more specifically in both places. The hope is that we will gather videos, photographs, sound recordings and other materials that we can embed into an online map. As the project develops we can then add layers of scientific data and documentation of artistic practices in the hope of creating a multilayered interactive record of ongoing activities and subjective experiences of place. We are going to look into various platforms for this including Google Maps, Open Street Map and Field Trip GB... any suggestions of other platforms would be really welcome! This map will be embedded in our blog for our case study area... this blog in development!
This shift in focus is helpful for a number of reasons. The first is that it makes it much easier to describe the project to local community members. It also makes our investigation into existing practices and initiatives much more focussed, enabling us to achieve greater depth rather than too much breadth. One of the first jobs is to create a list of all of the community groups, initiatives and practices in each area. Then we plan to start posting information about these on the Wiki (its a bit like a wikipedia especially for water). Shelagh had the very clever idea of creating entries about artists and inviting them to join the community so that they can see them/finish them off. We'll all be chipping into this as the project develops and hopefully this will provide a really useful resource for anyone that wants to know what is going on where we are.
This change in focus has made us reconsider the name of our case study area. Tair Afon means three rivers. We're now dealing with one river, the Leri, and the sea. So Tair Afon is a bit confusing. We also decided that the emphasis upon rivers might pre-condition our project focus, and there are other issues out there... not just river related ones. So, we are looking for a new title. Help with this would be really appreciated. Some stimulus for this might include:
Borth - Talybont - Afon Leri - The Sea - Community - People - Citizenship - Stories.... these were some of the key words. Sara suggested afterwards that we use Dwr Dan y Bont, which means water under the bridge. However, this might be more appropriate in Talybont than Borth... maybe we could have one name for Borth and another for Talybont? This way we could create two maps side by side?
We are planning to move our big Hydrocitizenship meeting from January to some time in the summer. We're based at the seaside after all so it will be much nicer for everyone to come when the sun is shining and the ice-cream parlour is open on Borth High Street. More news about this nearer the time.
I've spoken to the owner of a pub called the Friendship in Borth about the possibility of a story-telling evening in October about water and the sea. This will be a nice opportunity for us to meet some locals in a very informal way... and to have a beer or two! Nothing is confirmed yet so I will post more about this closer to the time.
We also talked about the possibility of setting specific dates for future events that might involve collective and multiple activities throughout our case study area. These will coincide with some or all of World Water Day (March 2015), Oxfam's Water Week (July 2015) and World Water Week (September 2015). These dates could provide a focus for collective activity across all four case study areas... I'm putting the idea out there... what would people think about putting on some events on Sunday 22 March 2015 as part of World Water Day? We could share reports of activities across the case study areas in real time through the community and other web platforms and generate a real buzz about the project. Responses and suggestions please!
We're planning to hold our first Hydrocitizenship Advisory Group meeting on Friday 17 October. This will involve soup and sandwiches. Which I am very much looking forward to as the Cafe in Siop Cynfelyn is great. Highly recommended! I'll blog about this meeting and let you know what comes of it.
There is much more to be said, but I'll leave that for my colleagues who are all planning to blog enthusiastically about what they have been up to recently!!
To read more by Tom visit his page on Hydrocitizens.