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What kind of Kingston would you like to live in?

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The Happy Kingston Project is a storytelling experiment looking to foster active hope in residents by visioning joyful futures and celebrating the strengths of our community.

 

Together we’ll use play and art to create multiple nuanced, diverse and context-specific narratives of what a joyful and hopeful Kingston can look like. And in doing so, challenge the more general, mainstream and singular definition of what we’re told ‘community-resilience’ is, which we’re often constrained by.  

 

By celebrating these nuances, we hope to build a framework for creating participant-led enquiries of what being “resilient” in Kingston accurately looks like for us all. Building an experiential vision of what a joyous and hopeful Kingston could be like to live in. 

We’re looking for participants, from as widely across the borough as possible, to be part of this journey with us.

 

We're putting on a series of three workshops (Oct ‘24 - March ‘25, exact dates TBD) - each facilitated by a different artist from Kingston and well-known for their outreach work in the borough. Participation will be remunerated, and all the ideas will be celebrated through a small exhibition in the summer of 2025.

Interested in taking part? Please drop us an email at thehappykingstonproject@gmail.com. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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Our hope is that this approach for telling stories with greater nuance and plurality can be an aid for community leaders engaged in community-resilience work.

This is a three-year project made possible through funding from the Royal Borough of Kingston's Small Green Grant.  It's run by Tisu and Divya from Kingston Hive with inputs from a range of experts and community leaders at key points in the research, development and design phases.

 

In year two we’ll revisit year one ideas in greater depth through thematically focused participatory research groups, looking at what steps might be needed to turn visions into reality; and in year three we will collate our combined reflections, key learnings regarding this methodology, and any recommendations or proposals for action into an easy-to-use ‘handbook’ and community resource so others can build on this approach. 

Interested in taking part? Please get in touch at thehappykingstonproject@gmail.com

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Divya Venkatesh is a creative designer with 12 + years' experience developing emotive and efficient visual communications for nature conservation and sustainable development organisations. She’s passionate about storytelling that uses joy to ignite people’s imagination and transform hope into positive ecological action.   She’s interested in: - How knowledge is created, shared and lived - Learning through play and games - Imagination Activism - Celebrating the knowledge held in our communities - Long-term and systems thinking

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Soumojit (Tisu) Ghosh is a social researcher with over 10 years experience in community development, impact evaluations and monitoring. He’s passionate about designing research with strong storytelling components, and facilitating and managing creative forms of collaborative inquiry. He’s interested in: - Using play and creativity to express holistic ideas - Facilitating an iterative approach to work and holding space to see what happens - Celebrating the knowledge that is often both undervalued and over exploited in our communities - Storytelling as a way of holding nuance and plurality

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