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Exhibition in tube station shares local stories and gets people chatting

A South London tube station is to host a pioneering exhibition that tells the stories of local people through the work of talented designers and illustrators.

Spearheaded by Odyssey Stories, a community storytelling initiative, Oval Tube station is launching an exhibition with illustrations of local people. The project aims to prompt conversations and new connections, and spark curiosity about the stories of those we live alongside.

Odyssey Stories launched their exhibition in conjunction with the BBC’s Crossing Divides on the Move season launch at Oval Tube station.

We hope that the illustrations, quotes and stories will encourage local people to talk with one another and find out how much we all share” said Alice Sachrajda, co-director of Odyssey Stories.

Odyssey Stories has been working in Oval over the past year to connect with local people and listen to their stories. The storytellers range in age from 19 to 102, come from different parts of the world and have many different life experiences. They all share a sense of belonging to Oval and their identities overlap in surprising and interesting ways.

Our daily travels are the time when we are not at home and not yet at our destination. They offer a chance to reflect on our own journeys and those of our fellow citizens. Odyssey Stories is helping transport hubs become spaces that connect people as well as places” said Alex Glennie, co-director of Odyssey Stories.

Oval Station, just round the corner from the Oval Cricket Ground, works hard to create a sense of community in the local area. Jason Persaud, TfL area manager of Oval and Clapham North stations said: “Whether it’s the thought of the day board or the book swap or the conversations we have with customers, our goal is to humanise the station and bring the small touches that make it friendly.”

The staff at Oval have created a warm and welcoming environment in the station. “That’s why we’re proud to work with Odyssey Stories. Their posters help people passing through the station to think about each other’s stories and to reflect on how much we all share with one another” said Jason Persaud.

Oval Tube is known for being the first London tube station to set up a ‘Thought of the Day’ board. The station now has over 36,000 followers on Twitter.

Odyssey Stories is working in partnership with Transport for London and with the support of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation through its Ideas and Pioneers grant funding programme.

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