5 Minutes with Creative Director Stef O’Driscoll

Outdoor, Interviews
Photography by Amaal Said

Explore the stories of local women in a city-wide audio storytelling trail throughout May

Co-commissioned by Brighton Festival, Arch 468 and Lighthouse, HERstory is a city-wide audio storytelling experience that uncovers the stories of women usually hidden from history. These are the real stories of Brighton-based women as they live through the COVID-19 pandemic. Insightful and inspiring, HERstory carves out a space where women can be heard. We invite you to discover and listen to a trail of stories that celebrate the truth and power of women all around us. 

You can visit the listening posts in Hangleton, Moulsecoomb, Whitehawk and Central Brighton to discover the stories and portraits of women from Brighton and scan a unique QR code. Each story will have a portrait of the storyteller which has been captured by photographer Amaal Said

We speak to Stef O’ Driscoll, Creative Director of HERstory on the inspiration behind the work and the power of storytelling.

What is the inspiration behind HERstory?

It was a direct reaction to the male-gendered response to the pandemic and discovering a statistic that 0.5% of recorded history is female. Not even 1%.  We are ensuring that we are documenting the real-life Brighton-based female narratives of the COVID -19 pandemic and celebrating the truth and power of women all around us. 

How would you describe HERstory?

Insightful and inspiring.

What do you hope people will take away from listening to these stories?

That they enjoy the art of discovering storytelling in multiple forms whether that is spoken word, song, music and new writing. To connect and gain an understanding of women’s lived experiences from all walks of life. That they may have comfort in familiarity, feel less alone or find empathy in the difference. And for those physically going on the trail, to discover parts of Brighton & Hove alongside the stories. 

Explore the trail

Why are you excited to bring this to Brighton Festival?

As England slowly comes out of this lockdown, we need arts, culture and stories more than ever. We have been starved of real-life storytelling experiences and this is a safe way to connect to the joys of this artform and human experiences again. 

This is my third time creating work with Brighton Festival and there is no city quite as vibrant with its eclectic mix of diverse humans gravitating towards the sea. We can’t wait to share these incredible stories with you all. 

Co-commissioned by Brighton Festival, Arch 468 and Lighthouse and created by Stef O’Driscoll. Produced with support from Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, and additional funds from Brandwatch.

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