Case Studies Long Story Short | RAF Case Study (2017)
Coorong Suicide Prevention Network
A Community Grant recipient, via the Regional Arts Fund, as managed by Country Arts SA.
The Long Story Short project involved identifying local community stories and storytellers through a series of gatherings and meetings with regional men and community groups throughout the Coorong region.
The objective was to identify regional stories, community partnerships, mental health strategies, best project-approach and funding potential. This research provides the Coorong Suicide Prevention Network and Coorong District Council with a better understanding of future project undertaking and approach.
This men’s arts and mental health project intends to connect travellers to regional community through digital broadcasting techniques linked to public artworks. Each artwork will be strategically located to encourage visitors and travellers to stop, look, listen and rest as they travel through the region. This framework will spur a series of site-specific visual art works, signage and digital pathways, as a means of connecting the Coorong region along the Mallee, Princes and Dukes Highways – through humorous storytelling.
Mark Thomson was engaged to facilitate and research the project, producing a cohesive document that details community stories, and what is required in delivering this large scale project.
Cultural & Economic Impacts:
- Long Story Short has been endorsed by Coorong District Council, which enables funding and community partnerships to be developed
- Increased cultural participation through engaging community men’s groups, community gatherings and individual regional isolated men across the enormous Coorong region
- Identified potential within all communities to generate tourism, stimulate the local economy and create connection to their region
- This scoping project identifies Raukkan, the Coorong’s Ngarrindjeri heartland, as being a community that would strongly identify and benefit from this project
- There has been an opportunity to integrate the project into the major street scaping project underway in Meningie
- Participants expressed understanding of the implications of isolation and its affect on regional men and the importance of connection fostered by this type of project
- Increased social cohesion and community capacity – the project has garnered wide interest amongst community men who recognised the value of storytelling and of having their stories heard by people that travel through this land
- Research revealed that our communities have strong identifiable stories and community outcomes that they would like to see occur in their community
- 75 participants engaged throughout the Coorong region, and 17 community partners identified
Image: Shearers hands, Long Story Short, 2017, South Australia. Photo by Mark Thomson