Looking back and looking forward

This year, 26 turned 20, and what a year it’s been. It’s been wonderful to see so many faces (old and new) both in real life and on Zoom over the course of 2023, for various projects and events. Before we throw ourselves into the next year, let’s take a look back at some highlights.

26 Places in Cornwall / 26 Tyller yn Kernow

Julia Webb-Harvey and Tom Scott led us on an alphabetised tour of 26 Cornish places earlier this year, to answer the question: What secrets of language, history and legend might Cornwall’s place names unlock? 

After initially opening with an exhibition of the work at The Poly in Falmouth just before St Piran’s Day, and a beautifully designed book, the project has lived on and on, touring to different parts of Cornwall throughout the year.

Image by Oliver Udy

26 Forest & Bird Centennial Project

The New Zealand chapter of 26 partnered again with Forest & Bird this year (for any fans of John Oliver, yes, that Forest & Bird) to celebrate the organisation’s centenary. To find out more about the project, and what else 26ers have been getting up to in New Zealand, take a look at the full round-up by Paul White. 

26 Plants

Words, nature, and our good friends at the Wildlife Trusts and the Bloomsbury Festival. What more could you want from a project? 

It was a winning formula for our 26 Plants project this year. If you missed it, catch up on the writing and artworks here.

Images by Nicolas Laborie (left) and Lisa Andrews (right)

26 at the Bloomsbury Festival

Eight 26ers became writers in residence for the day. Their task? To attend the Bloomsbuiry Festival’s events on an assigned day, soak up the experience and respond with a personal piece of writing. Once again, the responses were wonderful.  

And we also held our own festival event – bringing back our (mostly) annual Wordstock get-together, this time to the beautiful setting of the Conway Hall library. It was an afternoon of inspiration, and a celebration for anyone from any field who loves words and writing.  

Looking forward…

We have a few project ideas brewing for 2024, so watch this space and get involved. But remember, you can also suggest and run your own 26 projects! We’ve got a full run-down of how to get started here. Or feel free to drop me an email if you’d like to float an idea and go from there. Remember, anyone in 26 can run a project, so don’t hold back.  

– Sophie Gordon

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