A new campaign has been launched to celebrate the differences between people in Bristol.
The #WeAreBristol campaign started with the screening of a film at the Watershed on July 19.
The campaign has been created by Bristol City Council and various partners, and it is asking people to “positively challenge people to look for similarities with their neighbours and wider areas”.
Sixty strangers have been randomly chosen for a social experiment led by Bristol University professor Bruce Hood, with the hope of showcasing and celebrating what people from all over the city have in common.
This is taking place amidst the backdrop of the national context, and current Brexit debate, which has seen many argue the nation is more divided than ever.
Bristol, a city of sanctuary, with a proud record of migration, is wanting to make this point loudly and proudly.
Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “Fractures across the political landscape have led to a growing feeling of division amongst the people that live and work in Bristol.
“We believe that no matter where we’re from, what we believe or how we choose to live our lives, we still have things in common.
“This campaign will celebrate those things and bring people together around the pride we share for our city.”
You can watch the full video here
Participants chosen for the campaign come from a range of backgrounds and different communities in the city. Of the list 34 were women and 26 men, 44 white and 16 other ethnicities, with 32 parts of Bristol represented.
The youngest person is 16, and the oldest 77, with a combined total of 1,181 years experience of living in the city.
The group were asked a series of questions in the film, such as ;have you ever been with someone when they die?’ to ‘have you helped someone have a baby?’, and even ‘are you an addict?’
Participants were moved around the room at the Bottle Yard studios where it was filmed, according to what they answered.
As questions increased in their personal nature and intensity, participants were met with applause for their honesty and bravery. That exercise, according to Professor Bruce Hood, was a way of demonstrating how different, yet similar we can all be.
Participants who signed up were unaware of what would happen on arrival. Antonette, the oldest in the group at 77, who is originally from Barbados, turned up thinking it was something do with performing.
She said: “I just love to act, so applied to take part thinking it would involve some sort of performance. What we ended up doing came as a bit of a surprise. It was fantastic.”
She added: “It really got us talking. Some folk might harbour prejudices against others because they don’t know them, but when they get talking they realise that under the cloak of skin colour, race and dress, the other person is just like them.”
The film, which was inspired by the ‘All That We Share’ campaign created by TV 2 in Denmark, is the first part of the #WeAreBristol campaign, which will be running across the city over the summer. It is due to start over the weekend at Harbour Festival.
The campaign is supported by 10 local partners including Fable studios, Avon and Somerset Police, both of the city’s universities, the Watershed and Bristol Airport.
For more information on the look out for the facebook and twitter page with the hashtag #WeAreBristol
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