Welcome to Doorstep Revolution,
a sound archive that documents the experiences and stories of South Riverside residents, draw from their accounts of living through the Covid 19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021.
Here are stories of fear and hope, conversations about the nature of community, reflections upon family, healing and loss, the unique make-up of our complex, diverse and multicultural neighbourhood, as well as commentary on social, racial and environmental justice. Through the lens of a small urban neighbourhood in South Wales, you will hear a breadth and complexity of neighbourhood voices reflecting on the times we live in, the recent times we’ve lived through, and how we might wish them to be different.
Participants give voice to their responses to rising infections, staying at home, being furloughed, losing work, making sense of extended periods of time with family, navigating the school day, or becoming a mother or grandmother under lockdown. Many residents speak of isolation, loss and bereavement and the myriad ways the pandemic impacted on our personal and communal sense of wellbeing. They also speak of slowing down, being moved by nature, or the strategies they found to try and make their way through the pandemic. We hear of what mattered in these moments, and what has begun to matter more.
These audio pieces also explore community and our hopes for the future. What lessons can be learned from this unique period in time? How do we imagine the future for South Riverside? How might we dream of community differently?
Our audio archive continues to unfold into 2022 and beyond. If you’d like to get involved then please get in touch, there are so many ways to feed into this project. Unfolding plans include audio recordings that host dialogues between residents living on the same Riverside streets; a multilingual neighbourhood song archive; audio reflections on texts drawn from our community library…and more…
Our initial reactions to the pandemic
In this episode, we invite Riverside residents to cast their minds back to the first lockdown of 2020. What were people’s memories of this time? What were some of the disruptions local residents faced? And in light of these challenges, how were people feeling? In this episode we hear from Seun and Tess, Peter, Gillian, Sandra and Andrea, Bree Anne, Hana, Kanaya, Edna and Dylan, and Priti, Isha, Phil, Derek, and Helen Marie.
The future of community – how are we imagining community differently now?
In this episode, we hear residents talking about their aspirations for community. How did the pandemic create new or different experiences of living in Riverside? And as a result, how are we dreaming of what we’d like to see for our communities in the future? From practical suggestions for improving our local streets and communities, through to our wildest dreams of what a truly sustainable neighbourhood might look like. We start by hearing from residents, Rob, Edna and Abbey. They share thoughts on the need for greater connection at neighbourhood levels, and their hopes for how they want things to unfold beyond the pandemic.
Derek: Perspectives from the allotment
This episode is an extended interview with Derek, a Riverside resident living on Wells Street, who invited us to share some time with him on his allotment in Leckwith. Derek’s reflections touched on work, his disillusionment with academia, moving to Wales from Malaysia, the impacts of the pandemic on family and perhaps most importantly, for Derek at least, vegetables, food growing, and his allotment.
Pregnancy and childbirth, under lockdown
During the pandemic life continued, including the welcoming of new life. In this episode, we find out about two very different but overlapping experiences from a new mother and from a grandmother. We hear from Hardev on Wells Street, whose daughter-in-law, Umrah moved to Cardiff from India just before the pandemic, and gave birth to a new baby son. And we also hear from Jess on Rolls Street, who lives just around the corner, and who talks about her experiences of pregnancy, birth and parenting under lockdown.
Family life, kids and adapting under lockdown and Children
The pandemic disrupted school, family life and family dynamics. For many it meant more time spent at home. And with that came both opportunities and challenges for children, parents and extended family members. In this episode, we hear reflections on some of those experiences from Riverside residents Phil, Isha, Derek, and Helen Marie.
The challenges of homeschooling
One of the greatest changes to our communities and the pandemic was the shutting down of schools, requiring parents to teach children from home over extended periods. In this episode, we hear about the joys and challenges of homeschooling from Riverside residents, Phil, Peter, Isha, Hana, Sandra, Gillian and Andrea and Shanara.
Perspectives on Covid, health, and what our bodies have needed
The pandemic affected our lives in ways we could not have imagined across work, school, family life, and of course, our health. In this episode, we hear reflections on the impacts of the virus itself, from masks to social distancing, from getting COVID to getting over it, and how the pandemic made us reflect on the health and social care systems that support us. We’ll hear reflections on a time of suffering as well as healing from Tim, Jordan, Hardev and Helen Marie. From Phil, Bob, Priti, James and Andy and from Bree Anne, Rich, Sandra, Gillian and Andrea.
Landscapes of grief and loss
Many people have died in this pandemic, including people in our local area. We were privileged to listen to Riverside residents who told us about their experiences with loved ones dying of COVID, and from other causes. They also described the difficulties of funerals under COVID restrictions, and the challenge of isolation while grieving. These are powerful stories of grief, and gratitude. And we want to especially thank these participants for sharing them with us. In this episode, we’ll first hear from James and Andy reflecting on different types of grief and then we’ll hear from Jackie and Priti who both speaking about losing loved ones in this time.
Navigating our emotional and mental health, through the pandemic
The pandemic presented challenges not only to our physical but also our mental health. Many residents spoke to us about anxiety, fear, loneliness, and depression, and how they processed their feelings during this time. People also spoke to us about the things that helped maintain their mental and emotional health – family, nature, connecting into the body, connecting to other people. In this episode, we hear from Helen Marie, Abby, Peter, Becca, Phil and Rob. We also hear from Jordan, Bree Anne, Sandra, Gillian and Andrea, James, and Jackie.
Creativity, and what kept us going
Routines shifted drastically under the pandemic. And for many it offered time to explore creativity in new ways. A number of Riverside residents shared what they got up to to keep them busy under lockdown. In this episode, we hear from Tim, Jacqueline, Shanara, Rob and Helen Marie. And later on from James, Phil, Dylan, Aisha and Becca.
How work unfolded, under the pandemic
The first lockdown caused massive disruption to all of our working lives. Many were made redundant or put on furlough, workplaces changed and adapted, and many found themselves working from home. It also prompted so many of us to think about work, and the weight and balance of work within the rest of our life. Reflecting a variety of experiences in Riverside in this episode, we hear from Sara, Tim, James and Andy, Rob and Abby, then later from Marc, Joanna, Beth, James, Rhys, and Jordan.
Original music composed and produced by Tic Ashfield.
Production by Gavin Fisher and Fez Miah.
Interviews conducted and recorded by Adeola Dewis, Tony Hendrickson, Stephen Lingwood, Mary Anne Roberts and Rabab Ghazoul
With special thanks to the Riverside residents who participated in this project.
Doorstep Revolution was funded and supported by the National Lottery Community Fund.