Hidden tales from the rochdale underground

‘Hidden – Tales from the Rochdale Underground’ was an exciting 18 month project that gave expression to the unique wit and profound narrative of the service users and volunteers from Petrus, Rochdale’s largest homelessness charity.

2016 Untold Stories from Rochdale’s Petrus Community

Members of the Petrus Community presented an eclectic mix of short films, spoken word and live music at Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival at Touchstones on Thursday 20th October 2016.

The event was part of Hidden Tales, a project developed in partnership between Petrus and Community Arts North West, which aims to give expression to the unique wit and profound narrative of the Petrus service users and volunteers. Petrus are a charity that have been supporting people in housing need in Rochdale for the last 40 years.

The Petrus participants worked with award winning film maker Mat Johns and digital artist Mahboobeh Rajabi to create 6 short films that told the hidden stories belonging to Rochdale’s people. The stories ranged from a video portrait of Petrus volunteer Martin and his love of the Incredible Edible Allotment, to a moving story about the Rochdale Carer’s Choir to films that provided an insight into the realities of life on the streets and drug addiction.

Writer and MC Martin Stannage also worked with the group to create poetry inspired by Northern poets from the Rochdale Maskew Collection, such as Carol Anne Duffy, Simon Armitage and Lemn Sissay. The poetry was performed live to a fantastic reception and the poets were also joined by musician Chris Brown who performed a couple of songs also inspired by the theme of Hidden Tales.

Part of a longer 18 month creative programme, the project will culminate in 2017 with a live event and a digital trail that will take you on a journey through Rochdale town centre; revealing the untold stories of eight people from the Petrus Community through images, writing and a web link to a poignant video portrait about each person.

Hidden Tales brings together particularly exciting and wide-ranging partners including Touchstones, MMU Education, Innovation and Enterprise Lab (EdLab) and Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival.

The project was supported by the staff team at Petrus Hub and Falinge Road, produced by Community Arts North West and funded by Awards for All and Arts Council England.

Petrus Participants who took part in the project and presented work at the event at Touchstones include: Martin Tobin, Roger Kirby, Charlotte Brackenbury, Frank Kelly, Deborah Simonaitis and Chris Brown. Below are the short films, spoken word and live music shown at Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival in October 2016.

CAN Hidden Tales (1)