We want to animate the streets of Quarry Hill in an immersive, exciting way that drives footfall while changing perspectives on life and literature.
Led by Found Fiction, Street Stories is a street literature project which celebrates Quarry Hill voices past, present and future. As part of Street Stories, a team of Leeds writers will be writing super-short stories to be displayed in public spaces, abandoned areas and prominent venues across Quarry Hill.
The stories will be published in a guerrilla fashion – taking the form of vinyl stickers, wraparound banners and chalk paint murals, among other forms. The stories will be inspiring, reflective and attention-grabbing for passers by. They will combine fact and fiction, revealing a hidden truth about this historic Leeds neighbourhood in language that’s family friendly and accessible to all.
Funded by the Leeds City College Arts Fund, the purpose of Street Stories is to pique the interest and transcend the surroundings of passers by – ultimately, empowering and inspiring people in the community through the written word.
Who are the writers?
Found Fiction has cherry-picked four Leeds writers for the project based on their creative talent and personal connections to Quarry Hill.
Chris is an historical crime novelist. Twenty-six of his books are set in Leeds, covering different periods from the 1730s to the 1950s. He’s explored Quarry Hill and its history, from the rumours of Romans through to the heyday of the flats. He knows the plague cabins and the Turkish bath where the great Tom Maguire lived – and died – and where American gangster Owen Madden spent the first years of his life. The past in Leeds runs through his blood.
Taiwo is a published poet, performer and organiser who grew up in East End Park, Leeds. For the past 10 years of his life he has passed through Quarry Hill on morning and home commutes. Taiwo’s personal experiences and growth as an artist have been supported by Quarry Hill, through performances at the Playhouse, rehearsals at Munro House and events at the Wardrobe.
Mark E. Johnson
Mark is a writer, runner and baker born and raised in Leeds (but bred here, there and everywhere). His writing has included comics, journalism and the history of Yorkshire food. Many of Mark’s best memories of his grandma, Dorothy, were made in the Quarry Theatre of Leeds Playhouse. She would point out St Hilda’s down the road where his grandad, Jim, used to sing, not telling the nuns that he was really there for the free breakfast.
Street Stories will be going live in late summer 2020.
The project is supported by the Leeds City College Arts Fund.