Common Ground: Project unearthing land and housing stories in Scotland ends in free tour this month

Theatre company A Moment's Peace outlines the Common Ground project as it gets set to tour

A MOMENT'S PEACE has announced its exciting programme of February events as a culmination of the Common Ground project, unearthing stories about how we live now, and how we might live in the future. 

Common Ground is an arts project taking in theatre, podcast, installation, workshops and more to contribute a nationwide conversation about land and housing in Scotland. 

We ask important questions that affect people across the country: who owns the land under our feet and how did they get it? Who makes the decisions about how our towns and cities are designed and how does it shape our lives? How could these systems of land use and housing work better for everyone?

These events – a combination of installation, discussion and performance – see the work we have created with participants over the last seven months travel around the country to open up a dialogue about land and housing in Scotland. 

Each event is free and open to the public, and the work has been created with a real diversity of participants in close collaboration with the artistic team, resulting in a beautiful blend of photographs, creative writing, sculptures and sound pieces as a result of our Common Ground podcast. 

Having worked across Scotland with groups who have had lived experience or knowledge of current issues to do with land and housing, we invite everyone to add their voice to the conversation, and to take this dialogue out to their communities and networks. 

Presented for one day only in each area, this event follows on from workshops and creative sessions in partnership with Dundee Rep Theatre, Glasgow Life, Platform, The Barn, Argyll Youth Arts Hub and INSP and funded by Creative Scotland, Glasgow Arts and Music and Glasgow City Council.

These events – a combination of installation, discussion and performance – see the work we have created with participants over the last seven months travel around the country to open up a dialogue about land and housing in Scotland. 

We have worked with community groups across Scotland and created a series of distinct yet interconnected cross—art form pieces, communicating the complex and compelling stories of our land, our homes and the changing housing landscape.

Since July 2016, we have been delivering Common Ground creative sessions, engaging with over 320 participants across Scotland (in Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Argyll). 

A Moment's Peace’s method of encouraging participants to be authors of their own work is carried through in all aspects of delivery: deep engagement (working withparticipants who have had little or no arts engagement over a longer period of several months to years); intermediate engagement (working with participants for several sessions to several months); and concise engagement (working with participants in one-off invitations and/or sessions).

From working with primary school children in Mull to older adults who’ve experienced homelessness in Aberdeen, to young adults with learning disabilities in Dundee to asylum seekers in Glasgow, and many more across the four regions, Common Ground has sought out diverse and marginalised voices and folded them into the ongoing nationwide conversation on housing and land use. 

The project has engaged with people from Eastern Europe, Eritrea, Syria, Nigeria, Romania, Pakistan and India.

The Common Ground events not only showcase their creative work but are a representation of their ideas and experiences. Lead artist Lewis Hetherington contends: "We're using theatre in terms of we are finding voices that need to be heard, and inviting an audience to listen to those voices  - whether that is through podcast, a workshop or an exhibition - it's a chance to listen, to sit with someone else in their experience."

In a time where our political landscape can be volatile and divisive, these events bring together a diverse community of voices, in which those whose experiences have been marginalised are on common ground.

Below are the details of each free day event:

Dundee Rep Theatre, Wed 15 Feb, 2-4pm

Platform, Easterhouse, Sat 18 Feb, 2-4pm

Aros Hall, Tobermory, Mon 20 Feb, 3-5pm

The Barn, Aberdeenshire, Wed 22 Feb, 2-4pm

Pictures courtesy of  A Moment’s Peace

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