In October and November 2015, world famous journalist, Palagummi Sainath was the Coady International Institute’s Chair of Social Justice. Sainath provided interested residents of the Antigonish area with photojournalism workshops and lectures on the importance of taking journalism back to rural communities and making the stories about real people. He outlined the necessity of capturing the “everyday lives of everyday people” and of finding the “extraordinary in the ordinary” in the context of the collapse of the rural worldwide. He introduced us to his website, the People’s Archive of Rural Nova Scotia, PARI, https://ruralindiaonline.org/.
A group of us were inspired by Sainath’s work. The People’s Archive of Rural Nova Scotia, PARNS, is modeled after PARI principles but from a rural Nova Scotian perspective.
At the moment, 43% of Nova Scotians live in rural areas. Turner Drake & Partners Real Estate Counsellors predict that by 2038, 69% of Nova Scotians will live in an urban area; the vast majority of people will choose to live in Halifax (http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1309925-with-rural-decline-unabated-n.s.-needs-to-plan-better-experts).
Many of the stories currently on the website reflect themes related to the effects of urbanization. We will begin to put the stories in categories once the archive grows big enough.
Current categories include or will include:
- Agriculture and Food Security
- Arts, Crafts and Music
- Businesses, New and Old
- Newcomers – Immigration
- Youth Out-Migration and Returning Home
- Rural Sports and Activities
- Health Care
- Mental health
New categories will almost certainly emerge.