It’s ages since I blogged, but after such an enjoyable night out I just had to tell people about it.
Pecha Kucha is the Japanese for ‘chit chat’ and essentially that is what it is. People come in and talk about something they are interested in or on which they have a particular knowledge (see the Pecha Kucha website or Wikipedia for more). The 20×20 format is how it’s run and it’s very simple. A series of people have 20 slides that are shown on a big screen and they talk to them with each slide shown for no more than 20 seconds. It was invented by architects with the intention that it would limit how long they can talk for and is particularly popular with design and arty types, but I think I’d sum it up by saying if you’re just interested in stuff, stuff that happens around where you live and the people who do this stuff then it’s for you.
There were a number of speakers but a few particularly stick in my mind. The one that everyone who attended is bound to remember for some time was the very emotional talk by Julia O’Dwyer whose son Richard O’Dwyer is currently up for extradition to the USA for running a website which provided links to websites which allowed you to do illegal downloading. I can’t do justice to what she said and so I’ll just provide a link to her website if you want to know more.
Another great speaker was Erica Packington on Roller Derbys. A subject in which I would have never expected to have any interest but it was actually informative and thought provoking.
I also particularly enjoyed the two urban explorers as it covered two things I find fascinating – photography and interesting derelict buildings around Sheffield. Urban exploration isn’t something I’d have the guts to do, although I do occasionally stick my camera through broken windows in derelict buildings just to see what’s inside.
Other speakers included Rob Lee on perspective art (I knew I recognised him couldn’t place him and then found he works at the Showroom, which explains it), Dave Carlson on the Burton Street Foundation where the event was hosted and a building that I was probably last in about about 20 years ago when it was the Langsett Music Centre (for those who don’t know Sheffield it was where the job centre scene was filmed in The Full Monty and the outside was used as the school which is what it was originally anyway), Jonny Douglas on Sheffield specially to celebrate the Pecha Kucha Global Cities Week (since becoming a councillor I keep seeing these presentations both amateur and professional on the city and I keep thinking how great it would be to collect them all together in one place as they are all different), and Nynke Wierda on photography of the dead (strangely fascinating)!
I must also give a mention to The Mother Folkers who played music in the break halfway through. Very good musicians to the point where I bought their CD and I’ll definitely make the effort to see them perform again. Another mid-event event was showing two amusing and interesting videos from YouTube, including this one that whilst getting across a message is also interesting to any Sheffielder who is a fan of Tinsley Cooling Towers.
I thoroughly enjoyed the night. I found about things that I knew nothing about before, (or would have expected I’d want to know about), I met people I’d never met before and I just wish I’d heard about it before. I’ll definitely be back. This is exactly the sort of thing I find fascinating and I just wish I’d found out about it before.
Keep an eye on the Pecha Kucha Sheffield website for details of the next event in April.