Sandwell Stories

Sandwell Stories is a community audio project that shares the stories and ideas of local people. Launched in 2018, the podcast has evolved to take on a new format with every new series.

For this fourth series of Sandwell Stories, we’re going GREEN and participants learnt how to create a podcast that explores topics and questions that they are interested in around the environment.

Series 4

Multistory presents ‘Sandwell Stories: Going Green’; seven episodes by seven creators exploring stories connected to Sandwell’s local green spaces. 

Through intergenerational conversations, insightful interviews, spooky tales and wellbeing walks, they explore how to engage with, and appreciate, the natural environment on your doorstep, including: how to be eco-friendly as a family; how nature is reclaiming old industrial sites’ and the positive impact nature can have on your wellbeing.  Plus there’s a new, scary story based on local folklore.

Our seven, amazing local creators are: Bally Barquer, Amy and the Campbell family, Grace Dore, Brendan Hawthorne, Vicky Roden, Suzan Spence and Jamie Upton-Speed.

The podcasts were created during a 12-week podcast making course delivered by Multistory from December 2022 to March 2023 and launched on 28 March 2023. Thanks to Gaby Songui, who worked with Multistory to co-ordinate the course and the brilliant workshop facilitators that shared their knowledge with us on sound, storytelling, green activism and editing and production including: Iain Armstrong, Adrian Earle, Siobhan Harper-Nunes, and Marley Starskey-Butler.

Release dates are: 28 March, 4 April, 11 April, 18 April, 25 April, 2 May and 9 May. 

Series 3

For series 3 we welcomed two young people as guest producers to the Sandwell Stories podcast. They received mentoring from industry professionals and wrote and produced their own podcast episode, exploring issues that are important to them.

The first episode, by Gemma Larkin, explores love between queer women and the erasure of lesbian histories – with a particular focus on the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson.

The second episode, by Naomi Olaoye, focusses on cancel culture, and the effects of social media on mental health and community.

Series 2

The second series of the Sandwell Stories podcast series is told through the voices of four poets and looks at the past and the present, the lives of a new generation, and a desire to belong. Mothers and fathers; sons and daughters; young people making a mark on the streets of Sandwell.

Roy McFarlane begins with stories from young fathers and shares memories of those who have passed over: an ode to the different stages of fatherhood. Kuli Kohli takes us back to the turn of the millennium in the time of a crisis and the birth of a premature baby, mix-taped with rap from her eldest son.  Casey Bailey evokes a new generation’s desire to be seen; stories of young people ‘asking for a tomorrow’.  And Rupinder Kaur poeticises a daughter and mother relationship with a tongue that holds three languages.

These are the stories formed and fleshed in the soil and given breath by voices of the Black Country.

Series 1

The Sandwell Stories podcast was initiated to platform the ideas and stories of local people, exploring their concerns around and current debates, from life-long market traders to college students, tea dancers to newly arrived families. In addition to the podcasts we produced an exhibition of photographs that showcased portraits by photographer Emma Case, taken while interviewing local people for the ongoing audio project, which toured to Sandwell Libraries in 2019.  The exhibition weaved together the words of people from Sandwell with their portraits, enabling the public to access a growing oral and visual archive of contemporary, everyday stories. We partnered with Black Country Matters radio show on Black Country Radio to launch each podcast.

Series 1 was produced by photographer and researcher Emma Case, who also took portraits of the people featured in the podcast.