I am working on two creative side projects. Both are audio projects. I started working on ‘We’re Town’ audio series in the summer of last year. This was my first foray into audio storytelling. I wanted to capture and share stories of Huddersfield Town female fans. There is a lot of academic research and media attention on male football fans while female fans have been largely ignored. I am interested in how female football supporters become fans of the club, why they become fans, what does it mean to be a female fan of your local club? etc.
I have interviewed seven female Town fans so far but two of these interviews were unusable because of background noise. Most of the interviews were around 45 minutes long which I edit down to 5 mins. I cut myself and my questions out of the final edits so that the focus is on the female fans and their personal stories.
You can listen to the five ‘We’re Town’ stories on my Soundcloud site – https://soundcloud.com/laiyegbayo/sets/were-town
‘We’re Town’ was featured in the local newspaper, Huddersfield Examiner, late last year – http://www.examiner.co.uk/sport/football/news/htsa-column-check-out-were-12151489
I was ready to abandon the project early this year after I failed to recruit more fans to participate in it. Five episodes seemed enough. There have since been further interest and I am plan to interview at least two Town fans in the coming weeks.
My second audio project is called the ‘Valedictory Dispatches’ audio series. This is more ambitious than ‘We’re Town’. I will be doing the narration for this project, incorporating actors’ reading of the dispatches in the episodes and possibly adding music and archival audio footage. I plan to do at least 8 episodes. A valedictory dispatch is the last official diplomatic letter by a British ambassador before leaving his or her post. The British Government stopped outgoing ambassadors writing valedictory dispatches in 2006. The audio series focus on dispatches by former British ambassadors to Nigeria. The country got its independence from Britain in 1960. Between 1960 and 2006, there were 16 British ambassadors to Nigeria. I have managed to secure valedictory dispatches for 8 of these 16 ambassadors.
I am currently producing the first episode of the audio series and will post a link to it on this website once it becomes available. Watch this space.