Dear Stranger, I love you


Dear Stranger, I love you: the ethics of community in Rajni Shah Projects' Glorious
Lancaster University and the Live Art Development Agency, 2013.
Comprising: two books (120 and 40 pages) and DVD (32 minutes), all housed in a card envelope. 140 × 210 × 20mm

ISBN: 978-1-86220-306-8
Design by Studio Hato. Printed by Hato Press with soy based inks on recycled paper using an environmentally friendly stencil duplicator.

Dear stranger - cover

Dear Stranger, I love you offers an in-depth exploration of artist Rajni Shah’s Glorious, an experimental performance project that began with a series of conversations between strangers and ended in a large-scale theatre production involving local residents and musicians in each location where it was presented.

The publication brings together four ways of looking at Glorious: a short film made in response to six performances of Glorious by filmmaker Becky Edmunds; a music video shot in and around Lancaster and Morecambe by Lucy Cash; a critical overview of the process behind two iterations of the project by Elizabeth Lynch; and The Glorious Storybook, a collection of memories from throughout the process, edited and contextualised by writer Mary Paterson.

The publication is designed to reflect a process of letter-writing between strangers that lay at the heart of the project, and is packaged within a cover that can be posted directly to each recipient, resulting in a uniquely personalised book cover each time it is sent out.


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Dear Stranger on display
Glorious was a strange and beautiful show, different each time it was performed and growing organically over the course of its three years. Here and there, in the hearts of the hundreds who took part and the thousands who encountered it, Glorious is growing still. For those who didn't, there's a lovely lo-fi record of it in the form of a DVD, a book of essays and images, and a critical evaluation. It's a pity more arts projects don't produce documentation of this quality that in their physicality reflect the character of the work. I feel lucky to have seen Glorious. I'm impatient to see what Rajni Shah and her collaborators will make next.”

François Matarasso, freelance writer, researcher and consultant

“A beautiful boxful of memories, perspectives, evaluations and brave ideas that makes a substantial and vital contribution to current debates about socially engaged arts. Each page and every movie frame responds to the simple proposal and significant challenge of making contact with strangers - and celebrates the gutsy vulnerability required of those who rise to meet that challenge.”

Dr Helen Iball, Lecturer in Theatre Studies, University of Leeds

Dear Stranger - contents
Dear Stranger storybook
“This lovely publication Dear Stranger, I Love You, in all its compactness, and the project Glorious, in all its roaming and inviting expansiveness, seem now to share between them a particular quality of analysis, a way of seeing-in-several, a sort of compound eye for the many elements, not least the coming and going, self-asserting, intermingling human elements, that together make an identity, a place, an action, an idea. Fascinating.”

Professor Joe Kelleher, Head of Drama, Theatre and Performance, University of Roehampton
“This beautifully designed and eloquently written publication not only offers its readers an exciting package to unwrap and explore, but also stands as a testament to an inspirational participatory performance project. Offering multiple perspectives on Glorious, across writing and film, the publication reflects on the fertile possibilities for long-term artistic community engagement.”

Lois Keidan and CJ Mitchell, Directors, Live Art Development Agency (co-publisher)
Dear Stranger - illustrations