Places for All: From the Houses of Parliament to Peterborough’s car boot sale
The last exhibition photographer Liz Hingley held in the UK was in the Houses of Parliament, but as part of the University of Sussex’s Places for all project, she and project leader Ben Rogaly held an exhibition in April at the Peterborough car boot sale.
The Places for all project aims to bring people together across Peterborough’s diverse communities through multimedia activities including film, photography and drama.
One aspect of the project connects people from communities that often don’t interact, by enabling them to share their connections both to Peterborough and to other places in the UK and beyond.
The car boot sale venue was chosen as it is one of the few sites where people from all parts and communities of Peterborough regularly mix together.
Liz Hingley, an internationally recognised, award-winning photographer who documents social issues with a focus on community living, photographed nineteen residents of Peterborough for the Places for all exhibition and each portrait is accompanied by a quote from their life story.
The portraits include Mateusz Tarnawski who currently works in a clothes shop talking about his passion for opera and its primadonnas, Yasmeen and Jabeen Maqbool talking about moving from Oldham and Charles Wood, who used to work in the fairground industry, talking about starting work at seven years old.
Visitors appreciated the novelty of the exhibition and said it was ‘lovely to meet the people in these beautiful photos and the people who made them and recorded their stories’, and that it was an ‘excellent exhibition’. One praised the ‘very moving and touching images’ and another described it as ‘an inspiring display. Despite the freezing cold and pouring rain I am glad I came’.
The 100 life stories gathered by the project have already had an effect on the local community.
Ben Rogaly recently presented some to a group of local councillors, encouraging them to see their constituents in a new light.
Other activities planned for the next few months include a play, inspired by the life stories of Peterborough residents and performed by local young people.
The play will be performed in venues including a community centre, a local festival and at the home of Peterborough United Football Club.
The Places for all project is funded by the national Arts and Humanities Research Council via the University of Sussex and is a collaboration with the Citizen Power Peterborough programme which is put together by Peterborough City Council, the Royal Society of Arts and Arts Council England.