Let's keep being spontaneous and be prepared to fail sometimes

A Night to Remember

I was recently in Oxford speaking to a chap who runs a community video initiative. He set the initiative up after University, and has - miraculously I think - worked with communities around the world, from Kinshasa to remotest South America, where embattled indigenous elders were helped to make a lm that was shown in their national Parliament. Not everyone is good at speaking in the modern vernacular of grant applications and government bureaucracy, and he makes sure we still hear their voices in a multi-media age.I am trying to lure him up to Dewsbury to work on a project in Dewsbury Moor next summer. I was struck by the fact that he asked me how sustainable the goodwill generated would be after his team had left. I said that in my mind just because 'sustainability' was the buzzword of the moment didn't mean that we should completely forget the equally eective role of unusual, high impact events.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee was a gift to the multicultural project in Britain, which has not only suered a lot of negative press, but is genuinely in danger of running out of fresh appeal event to those who support it. There's only so many times people (including us) can be persuaded out into the night to sit in a function room and chat about 'commonalities'. And yet prejudice (on all sides) threatens to resurface so quickly the moment multiculturalism is not defended it's tricky work this inter-cultural stuff. All of this is a very long-winded way of saying that thanks to the present Queen retaining almost everyone's respect after 60 years on the throne, we had a unusually fun evening in November in North Kirklees which wouldn't necessarily be repeatable again, but which brought together over one hundred people from dierent backgrounds, including a really good number who hadn't been to many 'interfaith' events before, to share supper together.