About a year ago, I sat perched on a sofa in a city centre theatre, eagerly waiting the three other participants that would be joining me on a year long journey. And fast forward to now – the day after it all ended. There were parts where I thought about the reality of it all, committing to a project that was torn between four different minded people, but at the end, it all felt like it had fallen in place, the negativity falling in between the cracks.
You learn how to cope with other people.
You learn how much money can, or cannot buy you. You can’t buy time, nor can you buy manners. You can buy an artist but you can’t count on united opinions.
But community is a wonderful thing, and that’s what has made this project so special. Unexpected Items was an exploration of community voices behind the traders. I’ve learnt how to listen, and to explore other community groups outside of my own. All stories are important, in the make up of Manchester’s histories and Bury Market is in the heart of many.
Put it on a badge and pin it to my chest – I was proud to be apart of that moment when we were told “well it was much better than I thought it would be” by Maxine, a vinyl store holder. Maybe not the most beautiful of compliments but I’ll take it. We’ll come back again. I could have listened to those voices all day. £1.99 for a pie! It was all there, the positivity of listening to those who we have forgotten, in favour of convenience. Unexpected Items in bagging area.
Unexpected Items: Tales from Bury Market was a project that was resolved on the 18th of June, but its legacy lives on through the generations that keep the market just about floating above water, in an environment so volatile.
So thank you to Contact, for funding this project, and making four people come together and produce something that was at its infancy only a few months ago. What happens now? A new year, free from budgets and agendas and meetings. The things we’ve learnt will stick with us, and form new ideas with new people.
Time to start something else, unexpected.