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Logo for the 'Whatever People Say I Am' literary project which looks like a speech bubble

Challenging stereotypes with comics



About this project

Screenshot for the official Instagram feed for Whatever people say I am
Challenging stereotypes on Instagram #whatever_people_say_i_am_

Whatever People Say I Am is the latest collaborative digital storytelling production from James Walker and Paul Fillingham. This sequel to the Guardian award-winning Dawn of the Unread includes stories, coded comics© and social media posts that aim to dispel myths around identity, challenging prejudice and stereotypes.

The title Whatever people say I am is derived from Alan Sillitoe's 1958 novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and is one of the most memorable lines from Karel Reisz's film version, which torpedoed Britain's class-ridden post-war culture with authentic working class voices, drinking, rebellion and sexuality.

Albert Finney in the 1960's film, Saturday night and Sunday Morning'
"I’m me and nobody else. Whatever people say I am, that's what I'm not because they don't know a bloody thing about me!" - Albert Finney as Arthur Seaton in Karel Reisz's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960).

Sillitoe's belligerent phase was also borrowed by Sheffield rock band the Arctic Monkeys for the title of their debut album, which was released in 2006.

James Walker and Paul Fillingham on a video location for The Sillitoe Trail
James Walker (left) and Paul Fillingham (right) on a video shoot for The Sillitoe Trail. Pic: David Sillitoe.

Sillitoe's writing provided inspiration for Fillingham and Walker's first digital storytelling collaboration in 2012: The Sillitoe Trail A reimagining of the novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning themed content was created by local writers, artists, programmers and film-makers and showcased over a twelve month period as part of the pilot project for the Space the experimental, on-demand digital arts platform, originally commissioned by Arts Council England and the BBC to run alongside the London 2012 Olympics as part of the UK's cultural olympiad.

The Sillitoe Trail with its use of embedded essays, audio, video and interactive content, lay the foundations for the award winning zombie genre e-learning platform Dawn of the Unread and it's natural successor Whatever People Say I am...

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James Walker and Paul Fillingham