Members of the Local Conversations project in Govanhill supported by Community Renewal Trust

Residents from the Local Conversations in Govanhill, Glasgow, have come together to celebrate the success of the project so far with an exhibition.

In October, the Local Conversation in Govanhill, which is supported by Community Renewal held an exhibition in their local centre to celebrate the work of the project so far. The evening was filled with a display of photographs taken by the residents and talks from the photographers and residents.

There is a wide discrepancy in life expectancy in Scotland, with people living in the least disadvantaged areas living up to thirteen years longer than those living in the most disadvantage. Govanhill in Glasgow is home to 3,500 Roma people and has an even lower life expectancy than the average in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Scotland. Through the Local Conversation, Roma residents are tackling things that have a big impact on people’s lives and health in Govanhill, such as reducing language barriers that limit employment and education opportunities, and coming together to celebrate their culture and heritage.

Residents at the exhibition in Govanhill, Scotland

The exhibition came about as a result of a survey, curated with ideas from the group of young people from the Govanhill Roma Youth Group, surveying the residents of Govanhill. The photography exhibition emerged from the survey and, showcased the things young people most liked about the area.

Six young people aged 11 - 18 then formed a photography group and were taught how to use the cameras and take the photos by a local photographer. The group held ten sessions on Wednesday nights to create the photographs for the exhibition. One member explained “We saw things we hadn’t noticed before and got to see parts of Govanhill hidden down alleyways and found art studios and amazing artwork on outdoor spaces. We photographed sports like tennis and football in the park, which gave us a chance to use a professional camera with different lens sizes to capture fast activities.”

The exhibition to showcase the photographs was held at the local Community Renewal centre, a local drop in shop on Victoria Road. Several members of the project gave presentations about their work, and the photographs were displayed for other members of the community to view and reflect on, highlighting the positives about their area.

“I really enjoyed taking photos because it made me actually realise there’s a lot of positive stuff in Govanhill.” one member said at the exhibition. "It made me realise how many positive things there actually are when I got to think about it more.” Another added.

The title for the exhibition, ‘We Love Each Other’ was also chosen by the group and the sentiments repeated by the members of the project throughout the evening, proving the name was apt and was a simple way to get the local community looking at their local area in a positive light. “We feel our posters show some of the good things in Govanhill and we hope people like them and put them up for everyone to see.”

The Local Conversation in Govanhill is supported by Community Renewal Trust and funded by the Trust using money raised by Health Lottery Scotland.

Find out more about the Local Conversation in Govanhill here.

To read more news from the Trust, click here.

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