Heartstone

Descendants of All Worlds


The Project - groups and results

the project ...
the project - local partner ...
the project - group activities ...

There may be 10 groups or more undertaking this project in an area. As each photostory comes with 10 CD’s and there are 6 in the year, there is opportunity to involve upto 60 groups or as few as just 10 who start the project and remain with it throughout the year. Anyone over the age of 9 can be involved in this project, so there is ample scope to involve primary and secondary schools, youth groups and a range of community groups. All you need is a group with a leader or teacher who can run the project.

Schools

Schools will find this fits closely with both the Citizenship Curriculum and the guidelines under Community Cohesion. Heartstone CD Story Modules have been developed with DfES funding under this heading so that they can easily be incorporated into the curriculum and not give already pressurised teachers yet another ‘thing to do’. There are many areas of the curriculum into which this project fits eg. literacy, media, history, arts, religious studies. The most important thing is to find an enthusiastic individual who will be able to take on the project.
 

Time to do the project

This varies from setting to setting. We find many primary schools find it a good rule to undertake this in one hour once a week over a period of two terms. Secondary schools may incorporate this into a set module with a period of time eg. English in a particular term, community and youth groups will have more flexibility.

Using the central DOAW site to bring groups together and stage interim and finale events

The central DOAW site offers the opportunity to provide a location where different cultural groups who would otherwise not meet can come together and exchange what they have produced on a set story enabling each to understand different perspectives on the same story.

It provides a natural route through which contact can be established.

A finale event has similar benefits. The aim is to arrange an event which will bring together the central DOAW Heartstone stories together with the individual group exhibitions in a single location. Arranging a launch event and a programme alongside with groups presenting their own Heartstone Charters, poetry, drama pieces etc. provides a route through which all groups can feel they have achieved a common goal and presented this in the area as a mechanism to involve new groups in the project as well as publicising what they have done.

 

Equipment required:

The only hardware required for this project is access to a PC and printer to be able to download images / text.

Results:

This project involves the groups in all stages of the editorial process from the starting point of receiving photographs + notes from a photojournalist on location for a set story, through to the final product of the exhibition/feature. As such, it is not just an enjoyable activity and one which young people in particular will perceive as ‘cool’ and glamorous, which ensures successful engagement with the proejct, but it can be incorporated into a group’s normal activities in as little as one hour a week or during a holiday period. It will:

  • generate discussion / debate on the issues of prejudice/intolerance, which will include discussion on nationality and identity, all types of discrimination, what barriers exist as the groups perceive it to full participation in society
  •  help groups understand the commonalities between peoples, regardless of nationality, race or culture and thus help celebrate cultural diversity
  •  develop literacy and communication skills helping to raise achievement 
  •  develop a greater understanding of what constitutes negative/positive behaviour in thecontext of racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance 
  • the local partner will provide training to professionals, especially those working with children and young people, in firstly recognising incidents of prejudiced/intolerant behaviour and secondly, putting in place practical positive interventions formulated following the discussions held
  • provide a mechanism through which local decision-makers, parents, businesses and others who have a positive contribution to make to the discussions can be involved actively thus broadening involvement to the wider society
  • provide a practical mechanism through which different groups who may have little or no contact with each other who are all using the same stories to create the features/exhibitions can practically come together around a common theme thus raising contact/understanding/respect, a sense of shared ‘belonging’ and common vision, reducing a sense of isolation/alienation and exclusion
  • provide a route through which women, including those of Muslim background but not exclusively, can take a leadership role in a similar way to the group based at Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre who are leading the project and begin to ‘have a voice’ recognising the value of being involved in the democratic process in wider society
  • help raise confidence and self-esteem through involvement in presentations through the year of the project and in the finale event at the end of the project

Through this project, those groups which involve children and young people will begin to learn the real power of photography and photojournalism to convey ideas and emotions about other people and cultures and the power of the editorial process to shape our perceptions. This project however provides an ideal opportunity through which to reach parents and the wider community increasing their participation and bringing them into contact with agencies / other groups they are unlikely to meet otherwise.

In connection with images, the project will provide the groups (who can be schools, youth groups, community groups) with an insight into:

a)     the role of images in conveying our understanding of other people, nationalities and cultures

b)     how images present people and their world

c)     how images can foster or challenge stereotypes and prejudices

d)     how pictures are put together to 'tell a story'

It will also encourage groups to produce their own picture stories presenting the world in which they live and how they would like to be related to.

It provides an easily implemented tool through which Community Cohesion guidelines and Citizenship requirements in Education can be fulfilled.

The Heartstone Charter provides a benchmark for what groups feel is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in the context of prejudice and intolerance which they will have produced as a result of their discussions and contact through the process of this project.

The process adopted which leads to the provision of a resource and initial training on how to use it for the above purpose ensures this is a project which can be repeated year on year with new groups ensuring the benefits reach considerable numbers over several years.