Blog post: why Slung Low are putting up signs on lamp posts.

Signs have started to appear on lamp posts throughout Holbeck. I’m afraid it’s our fault.

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Holbeck is an area of South Leeds. It’s where The Holbeck Underground Ballroom is- the 5 railway arches where Slung Low has it’s home.
It’s an area of great variety- it homes a chamber of barristers and the rather lovely Mint Hotel. But it also homes an abandoned Kwik Save and some areas still showing the open wounds of urban development, high rise flats demolished leaving behind bare concreted land. The writer Mark Catley, with Dominic Gately has spent the last 2 weeks researching the history of the place, talking to residents, walking the streets, visiting community centres. We’ve collected stories; some of them are ‘facts’, some of them are histories, some of them were told to us by people who believed them to be ‘true’, some we made up by acts of imagination, others we thought we had invented but discovered we had stumbled across a truth and some fall into all of those categories.

Our challenge has been to- in one way or another- create 100 stories about, or at least in proximity to, Holbeck. Over the next week these stories will appear attached to lamp posts and fences throughout Holbeck.

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As these signs build up throughout the area they will provide the backdrop for the performances that we will carry out from a bus next week.

But that’s a thing to make another day. For now we’ve put up 19 signs, 19 stories throughout Holbeck. Over the next week we’ll put up the other 89. Weaving a series of stories over the village.

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The hope and aim is that these stories- sometimes echoing residents own story back at them, sometimes spinning fictions on the fragments of their realities- will resonate and entertain the people who live and work in the area over the next week as they stumble across the different signs. That’s the hope. I can’t be sure. We’ve never done this before. I’m very excited to find out though. For the many people who wont be able to make it down to Holbeck to discover and explore the stories there will be a map with the signs on that will be updated as they are put up. It will be hosted at www.wypfurnace.co.uk It will go live later today (7 October 2011)

This is Holbeck.

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