Author Archives: Sarah Butler

Stories of Gorton

I’m excited to be working with Manchester City of Literature on a new project called Stories of Gorton.

We are looking for people who know and love Gorton to work on a new project, exploring and sharing Gorton’s stories. We are recruiting six, paid ‘investigators’ to meet once a month over five months. We will explore Gorton by walking its streets and sharing the stories we know and the ones we discover along the way. In the final session we will look at how we might grow the project, to share and collect stories more widely. 

The sessions will run 10.00-12.00 on the 2nd Saturday of the month from September 2022 through to January 2023. Each session will involve an hour long walk (rain or shine!) followed by an hour at Gorton Library having a cuppa and a chat (and maybe doing some writing). Investigators will be paid £50 per session and need to be able to commit to at least four out of the five dates.

For more detail of how to apply see our call for applications below.

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Manchester: Something Rich and Strange

I am excited to announce the publicationof Manchester: Something Rich and Strange, edited by myself and Paul Dobraszczyk.

What is Manchester? Moving far from the glitzy shopping districts and architectural showpieces, away from cool city-centre living and modish cultural centres, this book shows us the unheralded, under-appreciated and overlooked parts of Greater Manchester in which the majority of Mancunians live, work and play. Continue reading 

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I spoke at a fascinating event hosted by Methods Lab + Critical Ecologies Group at Goldsmiths, University of London on 20 October 2020. The event responded to an inter disciplinary site-specific collaboration by Nirmal Puwar, Adele Mary Reed and Paul Chokran, mourning trees cut down to make way for new buildings at Coventry University.

The event is now available online:

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Where We Live

During the first lockdown, March-May 2020, the Whatsapp group for the street I live on in Manchester was flooded with offers of support and solidarity. It has always been a friendly, kind street, but this year I have found myself particularly grateful for my neighbours.

I decided to collect stories about the street to recognise and celebrate what community means and does in difficult times.

The result is an online book of stories, plus a collection of handmade books exploring themes of history, nature and neighbourliness.

You can read the online book on ISSUU

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Brutalist Architectures: mourning, mapping, mobilising – Tuesday 20th October

I will be speaking as part of the event. Brutalist Architectures: mourning, mapping, mobilising, organised by Methods Lab + Critical Ecologies Group Goldsmiths, on Tuesday 20th October, 5-7pm. Please register to receive the link.

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This Is A Call – Online Event

Date: Saturday 16th May 2020, 18:30

Location: Zoom

At the beginning of May, Peoples’ Bureau (Eva Sajovic and Rebecca Davies), along with writer Sarah Butler and film maker Shona Hamilton put out a call for artists to respond to the questions

· What is the role of the artist in today’s political, economic and social context?

· What is home?

· What might the future of living look like?

We are using funding from the AHRC best early career film award, given to our latest preojct, UnEarthing Elephant, a film exploring and celebrating the value of the much maligned Elephant and Castle shopping centre, to support this initiative.

Please join the successful artists, Nicola Privato, Julene Robinson, Ryan Skelton, Luzmira Zerpa and Omar Rocha, and Katrina Wilde to share the outcomes of their at-home-artist-residencies. A rich mix of music, poetry, performance and visual art. The works will be punctuated by work from Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos. You are invited to join us on zoom at 18:30. We look forward to seeing you there.

Please note that the performance will be recorded and turned into a moving image art piece for exhibition purposes at a later point. Please mute your audio and turn on speaker view.

You can choose to switch your video on or off. If you do not want to be identified please change your name.

Artist Katrina Wilde will be delivering a durational performance/workshop during the performance. If you would like to take part please prepare:

· A needle

· Some thread

· Something that needs mending that you’ve been putting off doing

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This Is A Call

Continuing the collaborative approach we used to create Unearthing Elephant (winner of the 2017 AHRC Early Career Film Award), I along with Eva Sajovic, Rebecca Davies and Shona Hamilton are launching a call for five mini at-home-artist-residencies during lockdown.

Deadline: 12.00  Friday 1st May

Fee: £400

Please download the full call information here: this_is_a_call

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Writing Place: ‘More than 100 Stories: A Collaboration’

I’m very excited to be talking about More Than 100 Stories with the brilliant Nicole Mollett as part of a new series of public events organised by the new Centre for Place Writing at MMU.

Join us for an in-conversation event discussing the rewards, and challenges, of: collaboration across art forms; working at the intersection of research and creative practice; making work in direct response to specific people, places and events, and much more.

The event is free and you can register your place on EventBrite.

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Not Home

I am very excited about the imminent launch of Not Home, a novella written by me in conversation with people living in unsupported temporary accommodation in Manchester and accessing the charity Justlife’s services. The novella will be published alongside a series of beautiful portraits made with photographer Stephen King, and personal stories which capture the everyday struggles faced by those living in unsupported temporary accommodation as well as celebrating people’s resourcefulness and strength.

The book will be launched as part of Manchester’s first Arts and Homelessness Festival with an exhibition at the Antony Burgess Centre in Manchester, 17-18 November. The work will also be exhibited at the People’s History Museum in Manchester, Jan-March 2019.

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Who Makes Finsbury Park

In 2014, All Change was commissioned by Islington Council to be Creative Producer for Finsbury Park Creative Hub – a three-year arts programme aiming to connect the local community with opportunities offered by the areas emerging cultural hub and changing landscape.

To truly understand how local people can and do contribute to the culture and character of a place, All Change commissioned artists Sarah Butler – writer, and Marysa Dowling – photographer, to devise a project, which would see the community tell its own story. Together, with 16 local contributors, they have used photography and creative writing to create a book of portraits – of people and a place at a particular moment of change and development.

Who Makes Finsbury Park? will be launched at Park Theatre in Finsbury Park on Tuesday 18th September.

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