A new campaign challenging people in Bristol to overcome their differences and focus on what they have in common has launched with a film premier at the Watershed.
#WeAreBristol has been created by Bristol City Council to positively challenge people to look for similarities with their neighbours and wider communities.
To launch the campaign, 60 strangers who all live in Bristol took part in a social experiment led by Professor Bruce Hood from the University of Bristol. This is the basis for the film which begins with the participants split into eight groups, based on their range of backgrounds, before they are then asked to respond to a number of personal questions.
You then see the participants go on an emotional journey through questions such as: who used to bunk off school, who is afraid to walk through parts of Bristol, who has seen a loved one die and who thinks Bristol City will get promoted. It results in the group, who had never met before, bonding over the things they had in common.
Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, explains:
“We believe that no matter where we’re from, what we believe or how we choose to live our lives, we still have things in common. This campaign will celebrate those things and bring people together around the pride we share for our city.”
The film, which was inspired by the ‘All That We Share’ campaign created by TV 2 in Denmark, is the first part of the ‘#We Are Bristol’ campaign which will be running across the city over the summer. It is due to start over the weekend at Harbour Festival.
Participants came from a range of backgrounds and different communities across the city.
Antonette is the oldest participant in the video. Originally from Barbados, she lived in various parts of England before moving to Bristol in 2016, to be near her son. Before retirement, she was a nurse and is now studying for an MA in Black Humanities at the University of Bristol. She recently performed one of her own poems at St Paul’s Carnival.
Antonette is involved in singing and theatre groups, and she responded to the advert to take part in the film thinking it would involve performing.
She explains: “I just love to act, so applied to take part thinking it would involve some sort of performance. What we ended up doing came as a bit of a surprise. It was fantastic. It really got us talking. Some folk might harbour prejudices against others because they don’t know them, but when they get talking they realise that under the cloak of skin colour, race and dress, the other person is just like them.”