University of Local Knowledge (ULK) celebrates the skills, talents and local knowledge that exists within the Community of Knowle West (in Bristol) and surrounding areas. Its aim is to show others the value of knowledge gained through life experience as opposed to academic qualifications.
The Launch took place on 26th June 2010 with a celebratory meal on the Green in Filwood Broadway. Local cooks and the Community Kitchen cooked and served a delicious meal to a hundred local people seated around ten tables with a local person acting as host at each table. The Sisters hosted one of the tables and also cooked an Irish Stew. In addition to the people seated at tables there was a Hog Roast for the other hundred people or so who were milling around and enjoying the day. Towards the end of the main course of the meal there was a parade of scrumptious deserts with the local cooks showing off their cooking skills.
Throughout the afternoon film crews were on hand to record the stories and knowledge shared by local people. The gathering and filming of local stories will continue during the months of July and August at the Knowle West Media Centre. By Autumn 2010, one thousand pieces of local knowledge will be collected and filmed across Knowle West with support from the BBC. Residents are invited to come forward to share their experience in a particular subject area by recording a “class” on camera. These short films or “classes” each between thirty seconds to four minutes long will be uploaded to a specially designed website and will become part of a course of study resembling the structure of a university.
A unique Knowle West Wiki has been created for the University of Local Knowledge project as part of online giant Wikipedia.