The Count Me In Too Wish Tree
From 2009 until the end of the project Count Me In Too introduced the Wish Tree to its dissemination and consultation events.
Conceived of as a means of capturing the ephemeral hopes, dreams and desires of our audiences, the Wish Tree represents a different kind of community and user feedback. While the project has painstakingly captured, recorded, analysed and disseminated the experiences of LGBT people in Brighton & Hove, the researchers also recognise that sometimes our hopes, dreams and desires cannot be fully articulated by a survey or in a focus group.
Being a project grounded in evidence-based research that sought to support positive concrete social change, Count Me In Too focussed on asking themed questions that would help services and support groups provide a better service for LGBT people. However, the project team recognised that asking questions doesn't necessarily capture dreams and aspirations of change in their entirety. Sometimes we have wishes that need to be captured, recorded and acknowledged in other ways. These wishes may be small, they may be individual or they may be abstract. Count Me In Too's data may well not be able to help these wishes come true in their entirety but we still felt it was important to recognise these wishes and give them a voice.
Over the 2-year period in which we employed the Wish Tree as a form of feedback at exhibitions and publicity events, we have had in excess of 500 responses ranging from the political ("an end to BiPhobia") to the emotional ("I wish they'd love me like I love them") to the intensely personal ("I wish we could be a family again"). We'd like to thank everyone who placed a wish on the Wish Tree and shared their hopes, dreams or aspirations with us.
The video below, created by Peter Harte, is a creative interpretation of these wishes and reflects the 'wishfulness' of this feedback. It takes us into a magical world where making a wish, holding on to it, and keeping it close has immense power. It balances the statistical data collected by Count Me In Too and represents the 'affective' remainder that we carry with us - those parts of us that are ephemeral and ghostly, but which are just as important to our identities.
We hope that you like the Wish Tree video.