Well, the exhibition launch was over a week ago now and I almost feel like I’ve recovered.  Astonishing how it all came together so nicely in the end.  All without having a gantt chart which, considering the hassle little Steph gave us over the summer about the need for a gantt chart, simply reinforces my anti-gantt chart prejudices. 

Oyvind was brilliant helping us set up at MADE.  He and Dan hung all the stuff in the front room where Dan’s portraits hung in artistic loveliness.  Myself and James did a bit more of a, ahem, ‘handwoven’ job in the back room with all of our research stuff.  Still it all looked pretty good.  Props also to Jane P for forcing us all to get organised and making sure everything ran like clockwork on the night.  And obviously much thanks to Julia for letting us do it.

We had about 70 people pass through over the evening – including a handful we kidnapped on their way to the opening of Fazeley Studios which was happening just down the road.  I’ve put some pictures up onto Facebook, which I’ve made open access.  They’re some of the worst photos I’ve taken since buying a camera with autofocus – no amount of photoshopping could redeem them, but you get the general idea.  I’d been out the previous weekend shooting a bunch of stuff on the helmetcam and wrapped it all up into a Google Earth file (available from the revamped Download page, as is, incidentally, the exhibition catalogue produced to go alongside Dan’s portraits).  It was quite fun sitting with people, getting them to play with Google Earth projected onto one of the walls.  I lost count of the number of people who said “it’s like the Blair Witch Project” while watching footage of my walk through the bushes next to the River Rea.

So huge thanks to everyone who turned up on Friday.

MADE asked us to take part in their Organic Eastside workshop, which was held at South Birmingham College last Tuesday.  Some really interesting stuff presented – George Fergusson, responsible for the redevelopment of the old Wills Tobacco factory in Bristol gave a really interesting paper.    I gave a brief outline of the RG project, but had to hurry off afterward.  Work has been insanely busy this week as all the stuff I hadn’t been doing in the previous fortnight getting ready for the exhibition finally started to catch up with me.  Plus I really have to send off the End of Award Report to the ESRC to justify the cash we spent.  Actually it’s been quite nice filling in the forms because a lot of the things most social science projects routinely fail to do – particularly regarding ‘end user engagement’ – has been really easy to sort out.  MADE, the gods of networking saw to that.

In a sense the exhibition brings the formal part of the Rescue Geography project to an end, but we’re still working on writing things up, doing more analysis and, of course, applying for more money to do Phase 2.  I think that RG has grown beyond the particular project that we originally applied to do in Digbeth/Eastside and both James and myself are pretty excited about where this goes next.

Oh and we’ve just had a piece accepted by an open access online journal.  It gives some details of different ways to do walking interviews and draws on RG as well as some students who I persuaded to do walking interviews for their dissertations.  I’ll post a link as soon as it’s online.

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