At the heart of Bristol Reconnect's work, we create opportunities to express ourselves. If you face severe and multiple disadvantages, your experience is largely unheard. Our problems are seen. Often as a nuisance. But our own experience goes unseen. If our experience is highlighted, we are rarely involved in the process. We spoke recently to homeless people who had been interviewed as part of a TV documentary. The documentary presented a sympathetic view of their experience. However, despite this, they told us that they had felt exploited by the process. They felt that their stories had still been distorted. Our focus is on putting people in charge of how they express themselves and are seen.
The Arts as a way to give a voice
Bristol Reconnect gives a voice to people who have faced severe and multiple disadvantages. We support them to have influence. We also give a voice, more directly, through arts & media activities. Arts activities have been a running thread throughout our history. Many of us are artists, film-makers and musicians. It is, therefore, no surprise that we've organised many art activities and workshops. We regularly host exhibitions in Café Connect. At the heart of our vision around telling the wider world is the idea to 'create conversations'. But we also know that Arts activities are of value in themselves.