On the 15th of August 2021, Oxford City Council held an event, #WeAreOxford, in the ‘meadow’ installation in Broad Street, to celebrate the diversity of the population, resident and transient, of Oxford. Street art, poetry, singing, history and community groups were all present.
I was asked by the Council to produce a set of images in the style of my ‘Excuse Me’ project to create a unique snapshot of images of the people at the event. The Excuse Me Project is all about memorialising the fleeting interactions we have with strangers throughout our lives. I talk to people in the street and ask if they want to be a part of the project. If they agree I take their picture, ask their name, where they’re from and what they do for a living. This information is included in the finished image to give an extra dimension to the portrait. (Do have a look at the gallery of other Excuse Me Project pictures on my website, here.)
The pictures from #WeAreOxford are shown below, click an image to see it full-frame and all the information on it, and do have a look at the ‘City Stories’ section of the new Oxford Museum website, here, where they will also be displayed along with a growing archive of images from events in Oxford, past and present. It’s an awesome, growing resource that will give us all a chance to celebrate the diversity of the wonderful city of Oxford.
These people weren’t expecting to be photographed, there’s an honesty to how they look, and they have allowed us a small glimpse into their lives. The Council now have a truly unique set of pictures of the people in Broad Street, on that day, at that event.
Do also search Instagram for #weareoxford or #broadmeadow to view my pictures and others from the event, and the main Excuse Me Project page is @theexcusemeproject.