I’ve been collecting thoughts from Fareham’s residents today. I approach people at random on the street and explain my project ‘thoughts become feelings’. I ask them to write down their first thoughts of the morning, or if they prefer, something they’re thinking right now or throughout the day.
I really want to share my experiences and be able to explain the range of emotions this process gave me, but I find it hard to do this. When discussing with peers some of my initial judgements on the people I approached, I found it hard to remain PC, whilst still being able to articulate the seeming juxtaposition between a persons response and my first impression of them.
I found some of the most powerful responses, with the broadest use of language, came from groups traditionally perceived as unschooled, uncultured or a burden on the tax payer even, if you’re looking at it from a media perspective.
So the only way I feel I can talk about this work without perpetuating these false stereotypes is to draw on the old adage of never judging a book by its cover. And that when you commit to engaging with people they often have something profound to say – people from all walks of life, sharing similar struggles, hopes and fears. It’s just a case of finding out through communication.
When individuals share their internal doubts and feelings of self-blame as a group, feelings of solidarity emerge and more importantly the influence of external factors is put into question.