Near Belonging: Test Screening

I’m very excited to share the latest Near Belonging news because we’ve recently held the test screening so participants and close friends of the project could see, and share feedback on, the first edit. It was also a celebration event, an opportunity to bring together participants from the three Near Belonging groups (based in Nuneaton, Rugby and Warwick). The Rugby Hub at the Methodist Church offered to host, not least because they run a community cooking project that make the most amazing snacks, including fresh baklava.

Incredibly powerful

So, fuelled with international treats we watched two films; first a short video about the project created by Charlie Flounders at Firefly Productions. It’s just over 3min long and yet manages in that brief time to beautifully capture so much from the months of everyone working together. We then watched the full-length Near Belonging film, which is a series of pairings: each participant with their ‘adopted’ portrait from the archive, photographed and assembled together, overlaid with our conversations about real and imagined connections.

Viewing this all together was incredibly powerful. It was a privilege to be able to watch as participants experienced the film for the first time, laughing, crying and glancing at each other, sharing smiles and being supportive as thoughts and emotions were shared on screen.

Watch the films

Following the screening I made tweaks based on the gathered feedback and I’m now delighted to be able to share both films online, as a preview to the exhibitions being planned for the Autumn. I’m now really keen to share this work in amazing public spaces so am currently in talks with a number of venues in Warwickshire. I’ll share details of those here as soon as I have everything confirmed so you can experience the artwork too.