Project

In 2013 Nottingham Contemporary invited the artist Polly Brannan to join The Loudspeaker project to develop a piece of work that would extend the project into the city and bring the women’s voices to the wider public. The result is the beautifully powerful and poignant ‘Letters To The City’.

The Loudspeaker works with the charity Changing Lives and is funded by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. We would like to thank all women involved in The Loudspeaker Project.

All letters read by Maxine Dickinson.

www.nottinghamcontemporary.org/loudspeaker

Posters

Between 2 - 16 December 2014, two of the letters from ‘Letters to the City’ were circulated across Nottingham’s City centre on 1750 x 1850mm billboard posters.

The posters are read by the public walking or driving by or from public transport across the city. People engage with the posters, can look on the website to gather more information on the project, places of support and have an opportunity to read the rest of the letters.

Booklets

All ten letters have been compiled into a booklet in an edition of 300 printed in London, 2014.

Walk

On Sunday 7 December 2014 the general public and women from the project joined Polly Brannan on a walk to Speakers Corner in Nottingham City centre to read each letter aloud in public to the City. Speakers Corner plays an important part in the campaigns for individual freedom and social justice and is a place for people to speak out loud, particularly for those who have had little opportunity in the past to speak or be heard so it felt like a very fitting place to read the letters.

Press

Letters to the City attracted press around the project please see links below for various coverage:

BBC Radio Nottingham
Verity Cowley Show
4 December 2014
Radio interview with Lynn Chippendale (Loudspeaker participant and mentor) and Kay Hardiman (Head of Learning at Nottingham Contemporary) about the project.
Download interview

BBC Radio Nottingham
Andy Whittaker Show
8 December 2014
Radio Interview about the Womens' experience and the project itself with Polly Brannan (Artist), Maxine Dickinson and Jane (Loudspeaker participant's) and live coverage of the walk and readings of the city to the to Lou.
Download interview

Nottingham Evening Post
7 December 2014
iNewspaper Article and interview with Lynn Chippendale (Loudspeaker participant and mentor), Maxine Dickinson (Loudspeaker participant), Polly Brannan (Artist) and Ciara Smyth (from Changing Lives, our project partner) on both the Letters to the City project and Loudspeaker projects.
www.nottinghampost.com

Artwork by Polly Brannan

Designed by Studio Hato

Places of Support

Changing Lives
Tel: 0191 273 8891
Email: central.office@changing-lives.org.uk
21 Clarendon Street, Nottingham, NG1 5HR
www.changing-lives.org.uk
Changing Lives is a national, registered charity which provides specialist support services for vulnerable people and their families every month. Changing Lives is here to help people with a wide range of needs, including specialist support services for women and families.

Nottingham Rape Crisis
Helpline: 0115 941 0440
www.nottinghamrapecrisis.org.uk
A service providing telephone counselling and face to face support for women and girls who have experienced any form of unwanted sexual attention, rape, sexual assault of child sexual abuse, whether recently or in the past.

Equation
24 hour domestic violence helpline - 0808 8000340
www.equation.org.uk
Advice and information for women and men who have experienced domestic violence.

Respect Not Fear
www.respectnotfear.co.uk
Equation’s website for younger people offers help, advice and links to support.

Women’s Aid Integrated Services
0808 8000340 - Freephone 24 hour
0115 9475257 - Nottingham Office
0808 8000341 - Text line
Offers language line/type talk and text phone for supporting women who have experienced domestic abuse.
www.wais.org.uk
WAIS is a free, confdential and independent organisation run by women for women and their children who have experienced domestic abuse. With over 30 years' experience, they are passionate about helping women to stay safe, change their lives and strengthen their families. Working mainly in Nottinghamshire, services range from a 24-hour freephone helpline to dealing with the highest risk survivors or domestic abuse and supporting them through the criminal justice system.

Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid
www.nottswa.org
Provides an extensive range of services for women, young people and children in Nottinghamshire.

Victim Support
www.victimsupport.org.uk
A national charity giving free and confidential help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family, friends and anyone else affected across England and Wales. It also speaks out as a national voice for victims and witnesses and campaign for change.

Newark Women’s Aid
Newark & Sherwood Women’s Aid Refuge - 01636 679687
www.newarkwomensaid.co.uk
Newark Women’s Aid provides safe accommodation, with associated support services, for women with or without children, who are living with or have experienced any form of physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or economic abuse.

Women’s Aid
www.womensaid.org.uk
Women’s Aid is a national domestic violence charity that helps up to 250,000 women and children every year. They work to end violence against women and children, and support over 500 domestic and sexual violence services across the country.

Broxtowe Women’s Project
Tel: 01773 718555
Helpline (10am-1pm, Mon-Fri) - 01773 719111
www.broxtowewomensproject.org.uk
The project challenges domestic violence and abuse by increasing society’s awareness of violent and abusive behaviour and offers support to all women experiencing domestic violence in the Broxtowe borough.

Samaritans
08457 909090
Open 24hrs to offer emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

Shelter
Shelter helpline: 0808 800 4444
england.shelter.org.uk
Providing advice and support for men and women suffering from homelessness or bad housing.

Umuada Refuge
0115 933 8202
www.personalisedsupport.co.uk
Umuada is a specialist supported housing project in Nottingham for Black and Minority Ethnic women and their children which provides emergency, short term accommodation for those experiencing domestic violence.

Women’s Domestic Violence "text" Helpline
0808 800 0341
A service for callers with a significant hearing impairment. The 24 hour service is available to callers with either a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) or a TeleTYpewriter (TTY).

Karma Nirvana
Helpline: 0800 599 9247
A 24 hour service providing specialist advice and support for victims of forced marriage and so called honour based violence.

Hetty’s
08000 850941 9am to 7pm - Seven Days a Week or simply text 07896 228547
www.hettys.co.uk
Access to confidential advice, support and information for parents, grandparents, partners or friends of a drug or alcohol user in Nottinghamshire.

Asian Women’s Project
Tel: 0115 9783945 / 0115 9789954
www.asianwomensproject.org.uk
Support and help with welfare rights, immigration and nationality advice etc. Training courses, language classes and group activity. Also operates a range of community projects.

Muslim Women’s Organisation
0115 970 4047
open.nottinghamcity.gov.uk
The Muslim Women’s Organisation provides a range of support to their community in a culturally appropriate space. Women are supported through training, confidence building and support to enter the job market. A wellbeing programme helped increase engagement and tackle isolation and mental health problems. Social activities are also provided including women only swimming sessions and a regular lunch club.

POW
0115 924 9992
Emergency out of hours - 07966 537 839
www.pow-advice.co.uk
POW Nottingham is a peer-founded charity supporting individuals involved in or affected by sex work. POW promotes health and dignity by empowering, supporting and educating our clients.

Bendigo
St Mary’s Cemetery,
off St Ann’s Well Road,
Nottingham,
NG1 1HN

Dear Bendigo,

I first met you, Bendigo the Lion, when I was 7 years old, I have been visiting your grave ever since. I am now 42.

Whenever I felt sad and lonely I would talk to you about all my problems. Whenever I was with you, you gave me strength and love and safeness.

‘In life always brave, fighting like a lion… in death like a lamb, tranquil in Zion.’

I never knew you were a famous bare knuckle fighter born in Sneinton in Nottingham, in 1811. You fought to take care of your family but fell into drinking and came out of that seeing the light. Becoming a tee total priest of Nottingham.

Subconsciously, Benidgo I choose you, the strongest and nicest guy of Nottingham to talk to!

Maxine
x

*‘Bendigo’ is William Abendego Thompson who was a famous Nottingham Knuckle Fighter. Bendigo’s statue is at St Ann’s Burial Ground, Victoria, Nottingham.

East Midlands Train Station
Carrington Street,
Nottingham,
NG2 3AQ

Dear East Midlands Train Station,

I would like to ask the way from here to a place called St Ann’s, as I have just arrived from Preston. I’m kind of lost and lonely.

I have now found the place called St Ann’s and I am slowly settling down, in my new home.

I have met some lovely people on my travels into the City of Nottingham asking where places are, like the Council to ask about housing. So I would like to thank them for leading me this way.

I had also met a person who told me about a place then called Platform 51, now called Changing Lives. Then they directed me to a place called the Contemporary where they did Loud Speaker.

Lynn

Hill from Nottingham Station
Middle Hill,
Nottingham

Dear Hill from Nottingham Station,

I walked up you last night and I looked yet again across the City.

Last time I was here I felt like I’d got to the top. This time it felt like I had a little further to go.

I will keep going,
Anonymous

Wollaton Hall
Wollaton Park,
Nottingham,
NG8 2AE

Dear Wollaton Hall,

You stand so proud at the top of the hill. I would love to be there with you after the bad time I’ve had just lately. But I am walking calmly up towards you to stand up proud like I used to, to be the Mum I used to be.

Thanks for making me see where I am going.

Jane

Nottingham Castle
Casple Place,
Nottingham,
NG1 6EL

Dear Nottingham Castle,

Your view across the City has felt different every time and changed many times over the years.

I always feel strong when I stand with you and look across the City.

Anonymous

Wollaton Hall
Wollaton Park,
Nottingham,
NG8 2AE

Dear Wollaton Hall,

Well how did I ever come back here??? I have tried to run as far as I can but I have come back here once again. I love how beautiful you are in the warm summer light. Tall and proud and beautiful is what I want to be. You give me inspiration to be the best that I can be.

I love to walk around your grounds and see the deer and stags – you indeed make my day. I know that I am getting to the place where I want to be. That’s in your grounds every day with my children, my love and my head held high.

Sincerely,
Ellen

Brewery Building

Dear Brewery Building,

You look like an evil castle standing high amidst the place that I fear the most. But yet I will have to come and see you. I will stand at your doors, proud and strong because then I have finally conquered my deepest, darkest fears.

I have gone through the streets with my head held high to stand in front of your doors. I shall get there. Mark my words you won’t defeat me because I am not frightened anymore.

Sincerely,
Ellen

Platform 51
7 Mansfield Road,
Nottingham,
NG1 3FB

Dear Platform 51,

I am just asking you how I can deal with my life, to make me feel better and stronger.

Now you have sent me to a building called Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery to do the Loudspeaker project. I did this course for ten weeks as it really started building me up and made me feel a person again.

I would just like to thank you Nottingham Contemporary for making me a happy lady and where you have got me to, feeling strong.

Yours faithfully,
Lynn

Arboretum Park
Waverley Street,
Nottingham,
NG7 4HF

Dear Arboretum Park,

I remember very clearly that summer where I felt alone. I was sat under your blossom tree.

I watched over the others as they played and laughed. I did not feel at all myself, I was lost and lost my sense of me.

Why did you make me feel so unlike myself. I was scared maybe.

Spending those summer days alone and separate from the others did push me forward. To embrace loneliness helped make me strong again.

When I walk through you now I walk with you as though we were one.

Thank you,
Anonymous

Nottingham Women’s Centre
30 Chaucer Street,
Nottingham,
NG1 5LP

Dear Nottingham Women’s Centre,

You helped lift me when I was so low. I’m thinking about it lots recently as it’s been almost a year I’ve been coming to you. It’s fantastic seeing and feeling my personal growth and development. I’ve never felt so strong before.

I dislike clichés – but I honestly don’t know where I’d be in my life without you. I can own that, it wouldn’t have been possible without my inner strength and determination but you were there giving me many opportunities and were a base where I met amazing people and made positive friends.

Walking on fire with you will mark a year of my success with you.

Naomi
XXX

Bendigo
St Mary’s Cemetery,
off St Ann’s Well Road,
Nottingham,
NG1 1HN

Dear Bendigo,

I first met you, Bendigo the Lion, when I was 7 years old, I have been visiting your grave ever since. I am now 42.

Whenever I felt sad and lonely I would talk to you about all my problems. Whenever I was with you, you gave me strength and love and safeness.

‘In life always brave, fighting like a lion… in death like a lamb, tranquil in Zion.’

I never knew you were a famous bare knuckle fighter born in Sneinton in Nottingham, in 1811. You fought to take care of your family but fell into drinking and came out of that seeing the light. Becoming a tee total priest of Nottingham.

Subconsciously, Benidgo I choose you, the strongest and nicest guy of Nottingham to talk to!

Maxine
x

*‘Bendigo’ is William Abendego Thompson who was a famous Nottingham Knuckle Fighter. Bendigo’s statue is at St Ann’s Burial Ground, Victoria, Nottingham.

East Midlands Train Station
Carrington Street,
Nottingham,
NG2 3AQ

Dear East Midlands Train Station,

I would like to ask the way from here to a place called St Ann’s, as I have just arrived from Preston. I’m kind of lost and lonely.

I have now found the place called St Ann’s and I am slowly settling down, in my new home.

I have met some lovely people on my travels into the City of Nottingham asking where places are, like the Council to ask about housing. So I would like to thank them for leading me this way.

I had also met a person who told me about a place then called Platform 51, now called Changing Lives. Then they directed me to a place called the Contemporary where they did Loud Speaker.

Lynn

Hill from Nottingham Station
Middle Hill,
Nottingham

Dear Hill from Nottingham Station,

I walked up you last night and I looked yet again across the City.

Last time I was here I felt like I’d got to the top. This time it felt like I had a little further to go.

I will keep going,
Anonymous

Wollaton Hall
Wollaton Park,
Nottingham,
NG8 2AE

Dear Wollaton Hall,

You stand so proud at the top of the hill. I would love to be there with you after the bad time I’ve had just lately. But I am walking calmly up towards you to stand up proud like I used to, to be the Mum I used to be.

Thanks for making me see where I am going.

Jane

Nottingham Castle
Casple Place,
Nottingham,
NG1 6EL

Dear Nottingham Castle,

Your view across the City has felt different every time and changed many times over the years.

I always feel strong when I stand with you and look across the City.

Anonymous

Wollaton Hall
Wollaton Park,
Nottingham,
NG8 2AE

Dear Wollaton Hall,

Well how did I ever come back here??? I have tried to run as far as I can but I have come back here once again. I love how beautiful you are in the warm summer light. Tall and proud and beautiful is what I want to be. You give me inspiration to be the best that I can be.

I love to walk around your grounds and see the deer and stags – you indeed make my day. I know that I am getting to the place where I want to be. That’s in your grounds every day with my children, my love and my head held high.

Sincerely,
Ellen

Brewery Building

Dear Brewery Building,

You look like an evil castle standing high amidst the place that I fear the most. But yet I will have to come and see you. I will stand at your doors, proud and strong because then I have finally conquered my deepest, darkest fears.

I have gone through the streets with my head held high to stand in front of your doors. I shall get there. Mark my words you won’t defeat me because I am not frightened anymore.

Sincerely,
Ellen

Platform 51
7 Mansfield Road,
Nottingham,
NG1 3FB

Dear Platform 51,

I am just asking you how I can deal with my life, to make me feel better and stronger.

Now you have sent me to a building called Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery to do the Loudspeaker project. I did this course for ten weeks as it really started building me up and made me feel a person again.

I would just like to thank you Nottingham Contemporary for making me a happy lady and where you have got me to, feeling strong.

Yours faithfully,
Lynn

Arboretum Park
Waverley Street,
Nottingham,
NG7 4HF

Dear Arboretum Park,

I remember very clearly that summer where I felt alone. I was sat under your blossom tree.

I watched over the others as they played and laughed. I did not feel at all myself, I was lost and lost my sense of me.

Why did you make me feel so unlike myself. I was scared maybe.

Spending those summer days alone and separate from the others did push me forward. To embrace loneliness helped make me strong again.

When I walk through you now I walk with you as though we were one.

Thank you,
Anonymous

Nottingham Women’s Centre
30 Chaucer Street,
Nottingham,
NG1 5LP

Dear Nottingham Women’s Centre,

You helped lift me when I was so low. I’m thinking about it lots recently as it’s been almost a year I’ve been coming to you. It’s fantastic seeing and feeling my personal growth and development. I’ve never felt so strong before.

I dislike clichés – but I honestly don’t know where I’d be in my life without you. I can own that, it wouldn’t have been possible without my inner strength and determination but you were there giving me many opportunities and were a base where I met amazing people and made positive friends.

Walking on fire with you will mark a year of my success with you.

Naomi
XXX