Valuable Reflections – Q and A Session: Wednesday 21 August

  • Dunmurray Community Centre Leader and Senior Youth leader (Billy Thompson & Johnny)
  • Pauline Hadaway
  • Mervyn Smyth
  • Menika van der Poorten
  • Ruth Moore

 Q1. Why is your community interested in working with Belfast Exposed?

  • Delivers a different type of activity. Learning new skills that young people connect with – and the focus on self expression is key
  • We have young people who have moved on still talk about the media they undertook with BX
  • It can be difficult to get funders to pay for this kind of work but funders are beginning to realise there is something in this. 
  • Young people being able to project different alternative views of themselves, be involved in positive images of young people is important. Makes a difference to young people’s sense of self and place within the community. 

Billy shared ideas about future direction:

  • Community has invested in equipment.
  • Hoping that we will get teaching and skills in own group so we can use it.
  • Want to develop a media hub in Dunmurray. More practical courses for leaders and senior youth leaders who could then take camera work sessions.
  • Could have a locally run camera club?

RM: Could this create community pathways connecting back into the programmes and courses then offered by BX in Belfast?

 Q2. How much to you feel you own the project, design planning and delivery?

We feel it is helping us build towards something…we feel it fits with our plans

Recommendation from BX: why not record the process you are undertaking and the content of courses to create a visual evaluation? Then present this to your funders?

RM: Could a community project be supported as  a mini  community pilot  in itself i.e. as a photography project with a social economy element and camera club/school which is stand alone and links into BX? Would it be of interest to BX to explore how this might work in partnership with a community, as a stand along sustainable project? Is there any benefit to BX in having mini community hubs to work in? How can this be teased out?

Q3: What about participants sense of ownership?

We should talk to them directly.

 Q4. What motivates you/your group/young people  to take part?

1. Creativity

2. Storytelling

3. Skills

4. Other

  • It’s a mixture of all of them. They get skills and they get chance to make pictures and also exp. of telling a visual story. 

RM: Are their stories being told? What are these?

Young people want to make work that reaches out ..

RM: important to explore who are the audiences for this work are at a grass roots level?

  • Opportunity for inter generational  work through images. 
  • We want this to continue, to grow. We don’t want it to finish.

 Q5. What are the barriers?

  • What we need is the training in photography skills, using the equipment. Getting the best of the software. Lightroom etc. If we had people trained in local area….we could run the media hub so other community groups could come in.  
  • We need to do business planning for the self sufficiency of the media hub and in house training. Could create small enterprises e.g. Family Portraiture Service
  • Mervyn has been a big help on applications 

 PH: BX could deliver the photographic side of this and Community Development organisations could provide skills to develop the social enterprise aspects. This needs strategic planning, business and action planning.


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