Community-led film project
Towards the end of 2022 we started working with a small crew consisting of women local to Brighton Open Market. The group responded to a project call out to create a documentary film exploring the stories of women working in Brighton Open Market.
Our idea for the project started with noticing how many women run the market stalls and keep the day-to-day operations going when historically the Open Market originally housed the barrow-boys (who were given permanent premises to sell their goods.)
Using the story of the lesser known community activist Harriett Cowley (whom our laundry service is named after and who opened the market with her husband Harry Cowley in 1927) as a jumping off point, we set off to find the contemporary Harriett’s who keep her spirit and determinism alive today.
We began by meeting to share ideas and explore possible contributors. Each crew member selected a figure from the market they personally identified with and who chimed with their own experiences: working away from family, dating a market boy in a previous life or experiencing working in a different country.
Throughout January we spent time filming with different traders to uncover what drives them and motivates them especially during the tougher winter months for business and during a cost of living crisis.
Now in post-production we are editing the stories shared to evoke a larger message around the market, its value and significance for the wider community.
Stay tuned for screenings of the finished film.
While the crew were filming Emily took some shots of the crew: