On 1st January 2021, Kent Creative launched “A year in the life of Faversham”, the 10th edition of their Project 365 series and the 5th one in Faversham.
The goal of the project was to record the town’s everyday life in 365 photographs - one for each day of the year - captured by local residents between the 1st January and the 31st December 2021.
This series of community photography projects is unique to Kent.
The project was designed to get people together to share their visions of the place they live in and create a collective memory. Participants were encouraged to capture how they lived, worked and played in the town, using their camera and mobile phones. It was open to all.
365 photographs have been selected by a Jury that included photographers Brian Aris and Perou. They will be presented in an exhibition from 21st to 24th May 2022 at the Assembly Rooms in Faversham. A book will be released at the exhibition, to include all 365 photographs as well.
The organisers received 2,357 submissions by 88 participants. During the exhibition, they want the viewers to be charmed by the variety and authenticity of the photos, what they show of people’s lives, their environment, the events that animate the town over the seasons, the businesses that energize it and the places and buildings that
They also intended to keep a historical, social and cultural record of life in the town during a very special year. With the Covid 19 pandemic, we were not sure we would get back to the world we knew before. This project is all the more important as a testimony and a document.
Richard Oldfield, from the Henry Oldfield Trust says: "This is not the first Year in the Life of Faversham, but it has been such a different year, and for many in Faversham so difficult, that the tremendous variety and creativity to be found in the town deserve another celebration in this quirky and inventive record.’
Project producer Nathalie Banaigs says: "This is a portrait of Faversham, one with creativity and personality, where a community came together to express what their town means to them. The photographs in this project are a testimony since they describe Faversham during a cultural, health, economic, financial, social and political crisis. Photography is a means of expression, documentation and communication. I feel it was very important to record this special year for posterity."
Quotes from participants
Colin Alderman: “365 Faversham is a great opportunity to get to know the town in a little more detail, to look at everyday things from different angles and perspectives. It also helps me practice and learn new photography skills.”
Robin Bowyer: "I felt this was a great opportunity not only to learn more about Faversham, its buildings, its people and its built and natural heritage but also the possibility of actually making use of the camera on my iPhone - and I am so pleased that I did take part. It has been amazingly satisfying on so many levels."
Alexandra Campbell: "I wanted to take part in Faversham 365 because I felt that 2021 showed Faversham in Covid times, and that it could be an important record as to how people felt and what they did. I set myself a challenge to try to photograph specifically Covid-affected people, places and experiences. I think I became more aware of how life
was different as a result - how empty the Market Place was on a market day, for example. It also pushed me to photograph people more - I don't really like asking strangers if I can take their photograph, as I don't want to be intrusive, but everyone was perfectly happy to be photographed. That's given me more confidence for photographing people in the future."
Nicola Chatten: "As an avid fan of previous 365 Faversham editions it was a privilege to be able to take part this year. It gave me the opportunity to look at the town and village where I live in a new exciting way and to diarise parts of normal life to be appreciated for years to come."
Trevor Fentiman: " Being born in Faversham and having worked in the area, I have a love for the town. To take part in this idea was a good challenge, plus it was nice sharing not only the images but my enjoyment of being part of something special. After the Covid it made me get out in the open which had so many benefits to my health and self
esteem, making me get out and about when it was hard to get motivated."
Jenna Gilmore: "I decided to take part as I have always loved the thriving community spirit of our town. I also cherish the moments to look back on what we have been up to as a family, therefore entering our antics into 'A Year in the Life of Faversham' just made sense."
Daniel Harding : " 365 Faversham is a vital project reflecting not just the town itself, but the impact of the pandemic on its spirit, as the local community endeavoured to continue life under the shadow of coronavirus and its necessary restrictions. The project creates a marvellously varied, visual snapshot of the community's continuing resilience, ranging from intensely personal moments to reflections of the changing seasons that unfolded around them. I'm delighted to have been part of a project that both bears witness to a dramatic moment in the town's history, and stands a beautiful visual manifestation of life in the Market Town of Kings. "
Anna Jameson: "I have lived in Faversham all my life and love this town. I am not particularly artistic but like the idea of being part of something creative. I also like the fact that I have been involved in recording a year of days, events, and the changing of seasons in and around Faversham."
Mary Ransom: "Having taken part in previous 365 projects, I wanted to get involved again as it is good to see the changing face of Faversham over the years. With Covid and its various lockdowns the challenge to record the event and day to day activities on a different level was also interesting."
Chris Richards: "We love the 365 project. We have collected all the books which offer an insight into the local area through the years."
Brian Summers: "Having taken part in the previous project I felt it would be a challenge to photograph Faversham without reopen. I thoroughly enjoyed searching for new subjects throughout the year."
Kathy West: "It's a beautiful project showing Faversham over the years. Children growing up. People growing older. Changes of buildings and their usage. I feel proud to be able to be part of it. It means the world to me. Its such fun! The contributions on the Facebook group are wonderful I've enjoyed seeing them."
Note: Banner image of boat in Faversham Creek taken for Faversham 365 by Simon Morris.