Diary Keepers was a creative community project exploring the future of the Tamar Valley by encouraging reflection on the way people live now.
I think it makes us all more aware of what we’re up against in our days and how we live here... It makes you really think think about the future and future generations and what we’re leaving them.
Nina Cox, Post Office
Diary Keepers was conceived by environmental artist Anne-Marie Culhane for the Tamar Valley AONB Cordiale project, which includes strands on ‘planning for the future’. Ruth Ben-Tovim, Encounters Creative Director was invited to collaborate on the creation of the Diary Keepers performance installation. The project was inspired by valley resident Joseph Snell’s diaries, written between 1914 and 1938.
For the month of June 2012, people across the Tamar Valley were encouraged to write a daily diary about their own day to day lives, current affairs, the weather and anything else that felt important to them, in hand-made diaries given to them or through twitter or email. 90 people of all ages kept a diary.
A performance and installation using extracts from these diaries and Joseph Snell’s diaries took place in October 2012 in St Dominick, in market gardener Roy Clark’s greenhouse, packing shed and polytunnels. A group of people who had kept a diary were involved in the performance that was attended by local residents and other diary keepers. The Cordiale project aims “to increase public understanding of landscape evolution and produce land use plans that moves the community and the landscape in the direction of greater resilience to climate change and peak oil”.