How did it start? Lucy Reeves Khan created Window Wanderland in 2015 out of her own experience, which can be read about in her bloggette.
“I was stuck in the home for many years because of chronic pain, (pretty grim) and being a stay-at-home-mother (pretty gorgeous). While doing short therapeutic walks around the block, in the Winter darkness to hide my disability, I noticed that if the curtains were open in neighbours houses, I didn’t feel the pain so much. For years I assumed I was just a nosy parker, but I realised that the light and openness made me happier.”
Lucy, a set designer, imagined the streets being alive with people looking at different displays, snap-shots of life like a cat asleep on a sofa, a TV playing a favourite film, disco lights or even live music. The seed was sown for Window Wanderland, so she created one in Bristol when people were getting stir crazy from the Winter, waiting for the Spring to come. The event was such an amazing success she saw that: it lifted other people’s spirits too, it strengthened her belief in the power of people, of play, and that everyone has at least one creative bone in their body even if they can’t see it. Whatever your circumstances you can join in this event by either coming out of your home on the night or making a display in your own home. It is accessible to everyone, easy to take part in and a unique way to get to know your neighbours.
“Other areas then asked to make their own event” says Lucy “I knew it was a big event to put on, so I have spent over a year making a website that takes care of much of the admin. This makes it much easier to do, allows them to engage their whole community with a simple toolkit to follow, so that if an Alien wanted to do one on their planet, the instructions are all here.”
This is not an event that needs to be ‘created for you‘, it’s for your community to make from the ground up, you are the show. It’s an opportunity for you to ‘WANDER‘: go down roads never been down, alleyways you didn’t know existed, feel proud of where you live. You can say anything you want, make something out of anything you want and the best bit is, you don’t have to buy anything.
By enabling neighbourhoods to make their own event, we aim to encourage those who feel isolated in their communities to participate, so that everyone can join in the fun. Using our experience we can support in big or small ways to make events happen.
Lucy was nominated as one of 25 people in the Bristol 2017 ‘Happy list’ who make Bristol a nicer place to be! This makes her very happy…
Here is an interview on BBC Radio Bristol about the background of why Lucy started it, along with a little Lou Reed!