Evaluation is a crucial part of all of our Circuit work here at the Whitworth. There will be a series of posts about the kinds of evaluation we do from the young people delivering it and professionals supporting them.
Belle Vue is a film production company working with the Whitworth on the Circuit programme. We are three researcher-filmmakers Andy, Sophie and Ben, based at the University of Manchester. For us, filmmaking is both a research medium and also a way to communicate research in a different way, with more than an academic audience in mind. Film has the potential to capture research processes, to develop fresh insights and to communicate research outcomes.
We’re working with the Whitworth on two films. The first film project involves following the newly formed Whitworth Young Contemporaries and their creative activities since last summer. We’ve been getting to know the WYC at the events they organise and talking to them on camera about their lives, their experience of the arts with the re-opening of the new Whitworth in February 2014 acting as the climax.
The second piece of work involves the Young Evaluators who we are working closely with; advising and training them in film-making techniques and helping them to use film as a research tool. The group are now working on their own film about the reasons why young people in the area around the Whitworth don’t visit the gallery. This involves visiting places near the Whitworth where young people hang out, such as colleges, schools and youth groups, to ask questions about their cultural tastes and whether visiting the gallery is somewhere that appeals to them.
The Young Evaluator’s plan was to select contributors to film with from an initial casting process, to interview them in more depth at a location of their choice, and then to invite to the Whitworth during the opening celebrations. All of the interviewees were sceptical about visiting the gallery at the start but were really surprised and impressed by the diverse activities happening as part of the opening.
The group have really strong ideas about how the film will look as well as how to approach the important questions it asks. They are currently at the logging and transcribing process of filmmaking and will soon move onto editing, with the aim of having the film ready by summer 2015.
Working with the WYC and the Young Evaluators has been a great experience for us. Their energy and enthusiasm for culture in general is really infectious. We think that their perspective will provide important insights for the Circuit project as a whole and we’re looking forward to seeing the results on film.