After a smooth introduction to Hat Fair at the end of March, thanks to the warm welcome from Kate Hazel and Angela Fozard-Bentham, and the precious advice from Aude Pauchet, ZEPA intern in Hat Fair between January and March 2011, things started to get moving in the Hat Fair office !
Mainly in charge of the logistical aspects of the Festival, i.e liaising with the artists, accommodation, catering, communication/marketing, I also took part in Hat Fair’s new project of rural development, « Hat Fair Out There » taking place this summer in 8 towns around Winchester.
I had the opportunity to work for the Emerge Festival as a photographer. The Emerge festival, organised by the University of Winchester is dedicated to emerging street artists. The Street Arts Bachelor students took part in Emerge and many other festivals including Hat Fair 2011. I had regular contacts with the Street Arts students, and their teacher and programme leader John Lee, which was really interesting considering it is a unique and only Bachelor of its kind in the world.
I also participated in the ZEPA project, particularly on being the Hat Fair link for the ZEPA website, writing (and translating !) various articles, especially on the festival.
Being involved in the ZEPA Symposium in Brghton on 27th and 28th May 2011 made me realise how ambitious the ZEPA network is and the vast amount of projects in place or to be developed. I was very impressed by this dynamic network and the work made everywhere to develop Street Arts around the different ZEPA areas. I continued my ’ZEPA journey’ by attending the Art Vu seminar (visual and street arts) in Amiens, organised by the Pole National Cirque et Arts de la rue, including participation from students from the University of Winchester, Amiens and Artois.
Obviously, the busiest time during my placement was the weeks leading up, during and after the Festival. The pressure was high, but we held out, and the festival goers seemed to really enjoy it ! Then July was time for evaluation and planning for next year’s Hat Fair. Hat Fair is going through big changes : from the traditional three-day festival came out other events, including Hat Fair Out There or other events in Winchester itself. Hat Fair is growing, and it is extremely rewarding to experience these changes ’live’.
All in all, those four months have been busy but such a rewarding experience, from a professional, linguistic and human point of view. And who knows, you might see me around next year ?