Thomas Irwin #TheDoncasterEffect

Thomas Irwin is 19 lives in Tickhill, he is an aspiring House producer, who has played piano since being a small child. He is planning to study music at Point Blank in London in 2020. 

“Lockdown has given me opportunities I previously wouldn’t have. Being sent home from university in Lincoln early allowed me to get a local job and more than ever spend time with family which wouldn’t happen otherwise.

Life’s a lot different now compared to back when this photo was taken. In terms of the lockdown the measures were unthinkable back then. In terms of personal life, as a musician I’ve had many successes since this photo Including signing to labels, Radio shows and big collaborations. I enjoy living in Doncaster, I’ve been brought up with my whole family here and there is definitely a culture that you don’t get anywhere else. I’m very fortunate to live in a nice area with good people around me. Thinking away from the pandemic, in normality its good for young people where I live. People go out feeling safe and not having to worry about anything out of the ordinary. It’s important for young people to feel secure about where they live. As for my future I plan to be a professional Artist. At an early stage in my career I’ve had a lot of small scale success and as I develop as an artist/musician I’d love to start doing shows and see where life takes me!”

About the Doncaster Effect 

Over 2019 Doncopolitan Founder Warren Draper was commissioned by Doncaster Council to create a photography archive of Doncaster’s residents. The aim of this project was to produce an important record of individuals that are redefining life in the town.

Over the years, we’ve heard Doncaster be called a “prison for the employed“, “cultural desert” and “basket case of the north“. National news can often present Doncaster and Northern towns as backwards, poor and racist. Over the years, working closely with residents and local people, we’ve seen a counter narrative to this; stories often not covered by the national news. People striving to create art, opening and running successful businesses, becoming social media influencers and leading activists, are pursuing national, important campaigns. This archive is an important record of 50 local people and their lives in Doncaster right now.

Our plan was to exhibit this archive in September 2020 to bring together all the participants in a mammoth gathering of Doncaster trail blazers. Sadly, due to Covid-19, the project has had to be re-invented. We’ll be archiving the project online for 2020, but we hope we can exhibit the project somewhere in 2021.

The title “The Doncaster Effect” came about via the Guardian Journalist John Harris, who wrote in the acclaimed publication the Idler MagazineIf you want to understand modern Britain today, Doncaster is a pretty good place to start”.

We’d like to thank Doncaster Council and Arts Council England for funding this project and for all the participants for giving up their time to take part.

Hello it’s Doncopolitan

We wanted to let you know that Doncopolitan is currently being funded by the Arts Council England Emergency Covid-19 Fund. This is helping us to develop our print magazine and 

festival into an online format where we can  pay local artists and writers to be part of our online arts festival and monthly newsletter. We want to continue to develop this way of working in the future. We want to create paid opportunities for writers and artists to create on their own terms. We are reaching out to you as a regular reader to ask if it would be possible to consider becoming a Patreon of our work. Patreon is an online fundraising platform it’s easy to sign-up; you can pay as little as £3.00 per month which will allow us to continue to be an independent voice for our town. 

Join our Patreon HERE

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