So, I went along to the most recent Tenx9 event in the Black Box on Wednesday evening to see a cultural event in action. Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with tenx9-its basic premise is that 9 people have up to 10 minutes each to tell a real story about their lives. Each month has a theme. It sounds so simple doesn’t it? But it really works. This event which began here is already spreading to places like Cork, Nashville, Bradford, London, Juba and Utrecht.
Around 150 people gathered in the main room of the black box to hear stories like Aaron Gordon’s tales of running the Belfast Marathon to Jason Ashford’s story about how Belfast is similar to that of a real life love story. All of this is not fairy tale or pie in the sky nonsense but real life stories about people living and working in this city.
I stood at the back of the room and listened to each contributor talked about their shared experiences in this place and for each story I could find something I too had experienced. In the space of an hour I felt that I had got an excellent overview of the city that I was raised in and ultimately felt a greater sense of love for the place I currently live in.
This event really brings home that amongst all of us, whether it is a freelancer writing a blog or the person returning after a long stint away or the poor buggar moving from Cork to West Belfast there is a story worth knowing and experiences worth sharing.
To the organisers of the event this was an excellent showcase of the city and for me, the expression of culture and shared experience was truly refreshing from the usual guff that passes for it these days.
To the Slugger audience, I would be interested to know-what’s your story about Belfast?
Here is Jason Ashford’s story of Belfast
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs