In spring of this year my mum sent me a link to the Culture Collective job advert, Creative Community Worker for the Fittie Community and asked “Do you know anyone who might be interested in this?”
And I thought… maybe I’m interested in this!
I grew up in Fittie and didn’t realise quite how unique and special an experience that was until I got older, moved away and reflected on having the beach as my back garden, knowing and being friends with my neighbours (of all ages) and exaggeratedly unlocking the door in front of tourists because I was proud (maybe smug is a better word) that I lived here.
Over the last ten years or so I’ve been working as an artist in lots of different contexts, making films, creating music, putting on shows, learning dances, leading workshops and meeting lots and lots of different people. The idea of using some of the things I’ve learned and some of the practices I have developed in the place that I grew up was really exciting… and once I got the job, a little overwhelming!
It’s been excellent reconnecting with people I’ve known my whole life, meeting new people, being part of a team and a community and seeing how Fittie, and Aberdeen as a city, is changing, shifting and holding onto things.
So far we, the Safe Harbour: Open Sea project team, have started to try and find our way with the project. We’ve met, listened and spoken to people from the village and from all over the city. We’ve initiated some events that we hope we can grow and develop ways to continue beyond the scale of our project.
I love films, I think that they are a great way of exploring ideas, learning about things and accessing different points of view. When I first came to the Fittie Community Hall I thought it could be a great space to screen films. So we’ve set up ‘The Fittie Film Club’. I was keen to create an environment that felt cosy but with a sense of event around it. I hope ‘The Fittie Film club’ will spark some discussions about some of the big topics we face as humanity as well as a chance to say hello and share space with neighbours.
I hope that with this project we can listen, inspire, collaborate, create spaces for discussion and learning and most of all put on some fun, joyful, interesting events for the residents of Fittie and connect up with the other exciting things that are happening across Aberdeen and beyond.
By Geraldine Heaney
Geraldine Heaney is a freelance artist originally from Aberdeen, with experience working all over Scotland and internationally. She works across art forms and communities. Geraldine’s work ranges from workshop facilitation, filmmaking, live performance, music and dance. She is interested in the potential of creativity and play to explore and navigate the world and their use as tools for communication, connection and change. Geraldine is a co-director of KOR! Records, an independent record label that works with young people with additional support needs and releases their output. She has run youth theatre groups, toured in shows, made documentaries and sees collaboration as a key part of all the work that she does.
Image Credit: Geraldine Heaney