The Paths We Make

“Our first duty to each other as human beings is to help each other fulfil our nature”

Nancy Klein

Participants: Jenny Cohen, Jackie Silcox, Martyn Oates, Stephania Sucharzewska, Robin Lumb, Andrew Cornell, Jamie Tregurtha, Tony Cree, Kevin Henley

The Paths We Make combines photography, conversation and walking to explore the observations and opinions of people with learning disabilities regarding how they experience travel in Leeds. Participants considered what supports their access to travel, but also the barriers. During the project, the difficulties we experienced included: restrictions on disabled bus pass travel time, meaning that some holders struggle to afford travel during peak times, which has lead to missing hospital appointments; some bus drivers not understanding the needs of disabled passengers (on one journey, a participant was flung from their seat when the bus broke suddenly, the driver refused to apologise); and an unclear complaints procedure. One travel office directed us to another site to submit a complaint, only for us to find that we could not leave a complaint at that site either. The customer care phone number we were given was charged at premium rate.

Over 1000 images were produced over 4 photo-journeys in July 2014. The installation included all of these images – fragments of the experiences we had – threaded through the trees of Hyde Park during Unity Day. Viewers were  invited to follow the threads and create their own immersive path through the work.

Over 1000 images from the project were exhibited at Unity Day on Hyde Park, Leeds, 2nd August 2014.
The project was funded by East Street Arts and Hyde Park and Woodhouse Community First, and supported by Swarthmore Education Centre.
Contact me if you are interested in finding out more about the project, or to book a guided photo-walk in Leeds with your group.