Britishness: A conversation toolkit

by Common Vision in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 23rd January 2019 we successfully raised £425 with 13 supporters in 56 days

Creating a positive public narrative that celebrates both what is common and what is distinctive between people across the UK.

by Common Vision in London, England, United Kingdom

**Update: We’ve started designing the toolkit! Even if we don’t reach our funding target, your contribution will help ensure we can produce some initial prototypes to test further.** 

A better conversation about who we are as a country is possible! 

It is clear that discussions about national identity have become stale, polarised and uninspiring. That's why, for over a year, think tank Common Vision has been consulting millennials across the UK on what “being British” means today. We hosted deliberative events, online focus groups and encouraged engagement via social media. Our participants were from different backgrounds and locations, voted differently in the 2016 EU referendum, and some were born in the UK and some were born elsewhere. But all agreed that a more positive, creative and inclusive approach to this conversation is possible and necessary. 

Working with graphic designer Laura Gordon, we’ve used these insights to design and produce a series of graphic products: quirky 'conversation starters' which aim to stimulate further conversations about who we are as a nation. Browse the collection and get your own via the Rewards for this crowdfunder. 

This project is one of a series of Art50 projects which will be featured in a forthcoming Sky Arts documentary.

WHAT IS A CONVERSATION TOOLKIT?

The toolkit will include an explainer video, prompt cards with questions and provocative statements, and guidance notes for facilitators with suggested offline and online activities. The kits will be designed so that they can be facilitated by civil society groups, school teachers or university lecturers, or simply friends looking for something to talk about in the pub!

We want the toolkit to help achieve a more deliberative public dialogue about what it means to be British, and encourage a positive public narrative that celebrates both what is common and what is distinctive between people across the UK.

ABOUT THE REWARDS

---Personal passport notebooks---

These personal passport notebooks represent both individual interpretations and shared experiences of Britishness.

---Queue cards---

Is there anything less easy to navigate than the great British queue? These playing cards, explains the rules of the game. 


---#SorryNotSorry totes---

These bespoke tote bags provide a handy translation of the hidden meanings behind indirect and vague British phrases and colloquialisms. 

---'Sh*t But Great' plates---

These commemorative plates celebrates items or occasions which are embarrassing or clichéd, but nevertheless a much loved aspect of the British experience. Illustrations by Peony Gent

The products above, plus other designs, will be on display at the Barbican in London in February 2019 and the project will also feature in a Sky Arts programme in the Spring.

But it's important that this is an ongoing conversation, which allows more people to get involved. That's why we want to use the insights and experiences from our research to pilot a public ‘conversation toolkit’, to encourage more people to engage in positive, proactive discussions about national identity and belonging, using fresh and creative techniques.

ABOUT COMMON VISION

Common Vision is a think tank working to change the narrative around our shared future. We use the power of positive ideas to detoxify angry, binary debates and unite people around long-term intergenerational goals. We aim to revitalise public diplomacy by championing deliberative dialogue and encouraging established and new leaders to work together to turn collective social challenges into opportunities. www.covi.org.uk

ABOUT LAURA GORDON

Laura Gordon is a research-led graphic designer, working across identity, editorial and exhibition design. She is interested in how the tools and methods of visual communication can be used to challenge dominant social and political narratives. http://www.laura-g.co.uk/

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

PERSONAL PASSPORTS

Bored of the divisive debates about burgundy or blue? We say neither. These millennial pink passport-style notebooks feature an alternative image to the royal coat of arms. From the pint glass to the school tie, the images and objectives featured allude to shared experiences, but also hint at what differs in our attitudes towards Britishness. You will also receive regular updates about the project and our progress with the crowdfunding campaign.

£10 or more

SOCIAL QUEUES PLAYING CARDS

Is there anything less easy to navigate than the great British queue? What’s right and proper on the tube just doesn’t work at the kebab shop. These designs, printed onto playing cards, explains the rules of the game. Each suit is based on an iconic queuing scenario - some more familiar than others - but everyone is expected to know the rules! You will also receive regular updates about the project, our progress with the crowdfunding campaign.

£20 or more

#SORRYNOTSORRY TRANSLATION TOTES

Brit’s don’t say what they actually mean! Each of these bespoke tote bags provide a handy translation of the hidden meanings behind indirect and vague British phrases and regional colloquialisms. You will also receive regular updates about the project, our progress with the crowdfunding campaign and the creation of the toolkit.

£30 or more

0 of 10 claimed

SH*T BUT GREAT COMMEMORATIVE PLATES

Commemorative crockery usually marks an occasion relating to a historic event or the Royal Family: but ultimately they represent moments which you want to remember. You can choose one in a series of plates celebrating items or occasions which are embarrassing or clichéd but nevertheless a much loved aspect of the British experience. You will also receive regular updates about the project, our progress with the crowdfunding campaign.

£50 or more

CONVERSATION TOOLKIT

You will receive a final version of the toolkit when it is created in February/ March 2019. In the meantime, you will also receive regular updates about the project and our progress with the crowdfunding campaign.

£120 or more

Framed exhibition posters

Limited edition posters from the exhibition.

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