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City of Dreams live!

18th June 2019

29 films, 15 performances, a dozen exhibits, 4 hours of music – 11,000 voices 

On 7th March 2019 City of Dreams brought a new kind of event to NewcastleGateshead. Featuring films, music, dramatic performances, interactive exhbits, 360degree films, visual arts instalations and even an arcade machine, Our City Our Story presented stories of growing up on Tyneside from 11,000 children and young people.

Taking over Live Theatre for the day, the event was programmed by young people and every piece of work on show was made by and about under25s in our city. Every demographic and geography of NewcastleGateshead was represented. 

Over 500 members of the public came to hear what life is really like for children and young people. More than 150 VIP decision-makers attended a closing session where issues emerging from the event were debated, with topics including poverty, gender innequality, discrimination and expriences of the care system.

We feel everyone should have the chance to find out more about the event, and what young people in our city are saying about their lives. With so much to see and hear, we’ve been wondering about the best way to share it with you. We will be posting videos and photos on this blog soon, but in the meantime have a look at the amazing images createdx by Georgie Mosley, our “graphic recorder” for the day.

What’s a “graphic recorder”? And why have we worked with one to capture what came out of Our City Our Story? Our partners at Newcastle University exlain all.

Graphic recording – what and why

As part of NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues City of Dreams initiative, Our City Our Story provides a significant platform for young people in Newcastle and Gateshead to express their experiences of growing up in the region.

Through a wide range of creative approaches, and working with multiple partners, the event relays some of the challenges and issues young people face, as well as their thoughts on broader social and political issues. Brought together in a collective form it is a very powerful event to experience.

Our City Our Story itself is a form of document, but we thought it was also important to capture the event itself – the conversations and themes running through the day – to provide a vehicle for reflection and catalyst for further discussion.

We felt it was important to do this in a way that is engaging and thought-provoking, and which could be easily shared. We were delighted that Georgie Mosley from Inky Thinking was able to be with us, and we are sure her work will encourage those who were at the event, and others, to continue the conversations the young people of NewcastleGateshead have started.

Vee Pollock – Dean of Culture and Creative Practice, Newcastle University


Graphic record 1 – what happened at Our City Our Story? (above)

Here’s what Georgie saw at the event. This fantastic image capture so many of the words, images, moments, themes and experiences at Our City Our Story. Enjoy! 

Graphic record 2 – the debate (below)

The VIP session of Our City Our Story was designed to shape the thinking of senior decision makers in local councils, health services, education, communities, business and transport. Our young event programmers wanted those in charge of the city to know what life was like for them and to make better decisions that could improve the local story of childhood in the future.

Here Georgie has captured the themes and key points of that discussion. It makes interesting reading

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