For the first time, since Accumulate started in 2013, we ran a creative writing session with the group. Writing itself often presents its own challenges, with negative experiences about school, literacy issues and dyslexia all becoming reasons not to attend the session. But these fears were set aside and 16 people turned up one Wednesday afternoon for a creative writing session at The Africa Centre in Southwark. We focused on two aspects, writing about their experiences on the Accumulate project and then, specifically, about their photographs which will be in the exhibition.
What was so evident was just how much everyone connected and were so eager to describe their experiences, they are so invested in Accumulate and having such a great time that now they can surmount any challenge. It was also the right time in the project to introduce the creative writing session, any earlier and we would not have had their attention or responses. The brilliant session leader – Joanna Brown, delivered a really evolving workshop session that probed, asked and teased out the information, we had helpers on board to support where needed and then, at the end, we shared a “community” meal, kindly sponsored by local restaurant, Bala Baya. What a great day!