Brendan’s ‘The Bookie’s Runner’ made me believe it was possible for real stories to be told with honesty and integrity. And Cally Phillips’ ‘A Week with No Labels’ really resonated with me – it was funny, poignant and most of all it was real.
McStorytellers and Guerrilla Midgie have (in my opinion) a shared purpose which is to empower the unvoiced. They may come from different angles and deal with different concerns but they are both grass-roots and they both privilege the unvoiced.
I’ve now taken over at Guerrilla Midgie (part of Cally’s give-away ‘retirement’ policy) and I’m determined to build on her legacy incorporating it into my own venture ‘Creative Advocacy’ There's a lot to be done and I'm just making the first tentative steps, but watch this space.
I’ve been supported by McStorytellers and Guerrilla Midgie and I now feel empowered to write the stories of others who feel they don’t have the skill or the confidence to write their own. I am now a passionate believer in creative advocacy. There are things that are wrong in the world. Uncomfortable things that don’t sit well with the way many people would like the world to be. Some people have the privilege of comfort. The privilege of being able to choose whether to let such stories into their consciousness. Others have no choice. For them, the unpleasant stories represent their live experience. I believe these are voices that need to be heard, whether or not they upset polite sensibilities. I am happy to mediate for those who do not have the confidence to tell their own stories, because I was helped immensely in the telling of my own stories. I am happy to mediate lived reality into fiction – for those who cannot accept the fact behind fiction and for those for whom the reality is too harsh to bear.
I’m a McRenegade because I believe that it’s OUR WORLD TOO. Brendan Gisby and Cally Phillips taught me that. I believe we all share the view that creativity is a right not a privilege. In thinking about what to write for this post, I came up with what might be my McRenegades theme tune. Others will have other tunes – that’s the point of McRenegades isn’t it? We do truly embrace diversity and value others. But this is mine. It’s Labi Siffri’s ‘something inside so strong.’ have a listen here
I’m currently working on a McSerial for McStorytellers which will be out in December. It’s called ‘All My Christmases.’ But you'll have to wait till December 1st for that.