Gemma Thorpe

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Tell us about you...

I am curious. My work is about personal stories. I use photography, and increasingly audio and video to share people’s stories, which I hope can help us learn more, and aid our understanding of each other. I am interested in the ways people manifest their identity, and how they can adapt and build resilience when needed.

What do you love about Sheffield?

The views, the skies, the people, the trees, the parks, the stories passed down to me by my Granny who lived here all of her 98 years, the conversations you overhear on the buses and on the streets, and the fact you can have a chat with a stranger almost anywhere. And the sense of humour.

What would you do to improve the city?

Connect the city’s neighbourhoods better. More generally, I think it’s easier, and safer, to make decisions that will lead to it becoming a replica of other cities rather than celebrating what is special and unique about it, marking out its independence, and supporting people who are doing things differently and have more radical ideas. Chinese students call it "Sheffield village" – I think that’s a positive thing. It should stop trying to compete, give up using words like "Global!" and "Digital!" People who live here know what makes it so good; it’s like a weird secret, because you never hear those things outside of the city.

Photo from The Wanderers, by Gemma Thorpe. Read more about Gemma in our locals guide.

All contributions from Gemma Thorpe