This project explores the power of storytelling for building rapport in spaces of opposition or inequity. In doing so, we're drawing on the principles of Narrative 4's Story Exchange in which two parties first share a meaningful story with one another, and then re-tell each other's story to a group. Instead of a traditional re-telling, however, the teller narrates their partner's story in the 1st person, as though they themselves were the key actor in the event. The approach can offer a powerful insight into the experiences of the other, bringing an affective dimension to the exchange that can help to foster a deeper sense of understanding between interlocutors.
We are working closely with the Extended Learning Centre in Coventry to construct this initiative, which will give a space for young people to articulate their experiences of policing to WMP officers and staff, and, it is hoped, will help to support (albeit fragile) moments of solidarity across subject positions. As we run and expand the reach of the initiative, we are asking whether these affective encounters might in fact help to effect broader change in police practice in the everyday.