Creating Hackney as Home

Creating Hackney as Home:
Five reflections on a London borough


Collective photos

We did some podcast training with Audio Producer, Matthew Holley, in a professional recording studio at the Open University. In the morning we talked about how to use the recording equipment, what makes a good podcast and then got the chance to experiment with using the zoom recorders to interview each other. At lunchtime we each worked on a short script explaining the thinking behind our own films from the project, how they were made and what we hope people who saw them might take away from the experience. In the afternoon, we took it in turns to make a proper recording of our scripts in the studio, and finished the day by recording a group discussion with Melissa, who used to be a radio producer! We all really enjoyed visiting Milton Keynes, and the OU campus, and used it as a chance to think about new towns, homes and housing, and urban space more generally, and how it compared to Hackney.

This was the first public screening of our Creating Hackney as Home films! The event took place at Hackney Picture House, an independent cinema in the heart of Hackney. We had about 70 people in the audience and all watched the films on the big screen for the first time. After the films we had a live question and answer session with the audience, explaining our thiking behind the films, the experiences we'd had making them and what we hoped would happen next.

This was our second day working with Denise at MTR. We talked through what elements make up a good story on film, and each tried to sketch these out in relation to our own film ideas. We also reviewed our filming from the first training day to see how we look on film, and to add more group feedback.

This was our first training day working with Denise at Mout That Roars on film production. We talked about different approaches to making films about home and belonging, then had a practice session with the equipment pitching our film ideas to the group.

This was our third training day on the Creating Hackney as Home project. The aims for this session were to define the overall research questions for the project, and to start to shape up our own individual research projects, methods and questions. We talked more about the different ways we think of home: as being about the physical places where we live and know well, but also in terms of the relationships we form in such places and the feelings we attach to them. At the end of the session we presented our ideas for our own individual research projects and film ideas.

As part of our research training we went on a fieldtrip to Hampstead Heath and Camden. The aim of this trip was to begin to put some of our observational research skills into practice. The idea was to take a short trip out of Hackney to other parts of London, think about our own perspectives of living in a city, then come back and try to look at Hackney with new eyes. We climbed to the top of Parliament Hill at Hampstead Heath and talked about the view. We noticed that the different types of tall buildings on the skyline could be used to think about differnet kinds of power and perspective at different times and in different places - the church spires and dome of St Paul's; the tall, modern skyscrapers of global banks at Canary Wharf; and the residential tower blocks on the city edges, including places like Hackney. We then went to Camden and thought about perspectives in a different sense, as being about points of view, difference and identity. We walked about the market, looking at different styles of dress and appearance, and talked about the smells and tastes of home by trying some of the different kinds of food on the market. On the way back to Hackney on the Overground train we talked about how leaving the borough might have helped us to rethink our own sense of home and belonging.

This is the second training day on the project. We talked about interview techniques in a research context, the did some role play interviews to put these ideas into practice. We also talked about research ethics in more detail and how these might apply to the project. In the afternoon we each drew maps of Hackney from our own perspectives and shared them with the group. To finish the day we did a hot seat exercise, where we took it in turns to present our early ideas for our own research to the group and all gave feedback on these ideas.

This was the first day of training on tthe Creating Hackney as Home project. We worked in small groups to come up with the different ways we understand home by sketching our thoughts to help visualise these ideas. When we talked this through as a whole group we decided that there three main ways we were defining home: as people and relationships; as feelings and emotions; and as the built environment, a physical place. We all felt that 'home' could be made up of a mixture each of these areas, and varied at differnet times and across different spaces, so felt that we had to see the term as being flexible and not with fixed boundaries. We also talked a lot about how home and belonging were very everyday experiences, and how this relates to senses of the familiar and the strange. In the next session we talked about what research questions we would like to consider, and what sorts of research approach would work best for the overall project. In the afternoon we talked about differnet kinds of visual methods, and ways of producing video reflections using our new Flip Cams!

The Open University Economic and Social Research Council