In partnership with Living Legacies 1914-18
7th November 2017
Using Digital Skills to Enhance your WW1 Project in partnership with Living Legacies 1914-18 on the 7th November 2017. This workshop is free of charge with limited spaces available Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org 02890 972513/3883 by 31st October 2017
School of Natural and Built Environment
On Wednesday 1st November we had a visit from the Bogside/ Brandywell Men’s Shed. The group had enjoyed a handling box session from the team at their community centre last month looking at WWI objects and discussing the symbols that emerged from that period such as the poppy.
First stop on their visit was to see the Poppies: Weeping Window sculpture which is on display at the Ulster Museum until December 3rd. A quick bite to eat before the group enjoyed a guided tour of some of the other displays in the museum including the Decade of Centenaries exhibit in the Modern History gallery. The group had a great time and were very impressed with the museum and are looking forward to working with the Living Legacies team again.
21st November 2017
Belfast Metropolitan College
This conference will appeal to those who are interested in gaining greater insight into the Political developments, conflict and increased polarisation.
Dr Eamon Phoenix will speak about the political events and increased polarisation from 1917. This will include 1917 Irish Convention, how sectarian violence spreads, Kings Speech at City Hall, Treaty and parliaments emerging in Ireland and N Ireland.
Dr Marie Coleman will speak about end of war, turmoil in Europe continues and Ireland post war.
For more information click here.
Poppies: Weeping Window exhibition update 30th November 2017
As December approaches, the Poppies: Weeping Window exhibition draws to a close. It has been extremely popular, with visitor numbers up 85.9% from November 2016 and with the most recent overall total numbering 102,991! Living Legacies involvement has been critical in engaging with groups through our Participate in Poppies programme. This has consisted of outreach through handling box sessions with groups in the five Urban Villages of Belfast and Londonderry/Derry areas with follow-up visits to the Poppies display and the Decade of Centenaries exhibition at the Ulster Museum. We have also been engaging with community groups through our sold out Sign of the Times seminar where a panel of academics, historians and writers spoke about symbols throughout history and the significance of them in today’s world including our very own Project Officer Sophie Long. Films, poetry, lectures and drama were just some of the other examples of the diverse range of events that visitors could participate in. We hope to continue to build on the legacy of the Poppies display by working with these different community groups again in future projects.
Ministry of Defence Sanctuary Awards Ceremony 22nd November 2017
Living Legacies, Dr Heather Montgomery was in London last week (22/11/17), with the CAF’s Grace McAlister, Major Tony Canniford (MoD, Ballykinler Training Estate), and Richard Osgood (MoD Archaeologist) at the Ministry of Defence Sanctuary Awards Ceremony 2017
Left-Right: Grace McAlister (CAF), Maj A. Canniford (MoD Ballykinler), Dr. Montgomery and Richard Osgood (MoD Senior Archaeologist).
The Sanctuary Heritage Project Award was made for the archaeological investigations undertaken at the Ballykinler Training Estate in County Down last year when Heather and a team from the CAF undertook a community archaeological excavation at First World War practice trenches. The results of this work formed a component of Heather’s doctoral research on the archaeology of First World War training camps in Ireland and was proudly supported by Living Legacies First World War Engagement Centre.
Access the latest Sanctuary Magazine by clicking here.
Many congratulations to Heather and the team!
WW1 Engagement Centres Showcase Event
In 2017 the WW1 Engagement Centres are holding a series of showcase events to share best practice across HLF projects as well as the Engagement Centres’ community research funded projects. These events will offer a moment of reflection and the space within which to consider the work completed by First World War commemorative projects and the new knowledge that has been brought to light.
Discussions will explore projects from their earliest inception to completion, reflect on their successes and challenges, consider the legacy of such projects and consider any future plans there may be in place to continue. The showcase will focus on the process of co-design and co-production through exploring projects and their impact on people, networks and institutions.
On November 9th we were delighted to welcome John Lee to the Ulster Museum. John has an MA in War Studies from King's College London and is a member of the British Commission for Military History. He has been a member of the Western Front Association since 1988 and is known as a writer, lecturer and battlefield tour guide in the First World War and in other aspects of military history. He was inspired to learn more about the American Expeditionary Forces in WWI after a casual question on one of his tours about why there was so little written on this subject. John began by giving us some background as to why America entered the First World War with discussion of the famous Zimmerman telegram and the associated conspiracy theories surrounding it. The command of the American Expeditionary Forces was handed to John ‘Black Jack’ Pershing in 1917 who had a clear idea of how the war was to be fought. As John explored further the battles that the AEF were a part of, he revealed the true cost of the open warfare approach that Pershing insisted on implementing right up until the end of the war and how the training some divisions received from the battle hardened Allied forces provided them with the necessary experience in fighting the German army and their modern techniques.
What did you like most or least about the lunchtime lecture today?
‘New perspectives on WWI’
‘Very knowledgeable speaker’
Did you learn anything new? If so, what?
‘A lot about the attitude of the AEF in WWI’
Did a particular aspect of the talk have an impact on you? How?
‘How more junior officers ignored their senior officers and their views’
How would you rate the following 1= Poor ------ 5= Excellent, please click charts below to see in full.
Updated News 21st November 2017
Being Human Event at Queen's University Belfast
This year, Queen’s University, Belfast played host to a unique national festival of the humanities which explored the diversity and vitality of the humanities and its relevance to people’s lives. The Being Human Festival, the first and only national festival of the humanities was led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. As one of five Being Human Hubs across the UK, Queen’s University showcased, through a number of workshops and events, how humanities research can inspire and enrich our own lives and our relationships with others.
On Thursday 21st November at the Brian Friel Theatre, representatives of community groups from across Northern Ireland came together to discuss their involvement in The Medals All Round Research Initiative (MARRI) – a Living Legacies project which explored how drama and theatre methods can challenge the contested histories in Northern Ireland’s commemorations of the centenary of the First World War. The event, entitled The First World War and Community Memory presented excerpts and analysis of the performances and films which were created by community groups in partnership with researchers and facilitators from Queen’s University. The event was hosted by Dr Kurt Taroff, Senior Lecturer in Drama in the School of Arts, English and Languages and Dr Michelle Young, Project Officer at Living Legacies Engagement Centre and one of the drama facilitators from
Each contributor told how the history and legacy of WW1 in their local communities were transformed into art in the form of performances and films. They explained how the MARRI project allowed for the creative engagement with historical memory and discussed how the model of drama and community interaction can contribute towards the greater cultural engagement of disadvantaged and otherwise underserved communities.
The audience were treated to excerpts of two of the films produced through the project. The Tonagh Neighbourhood Initiative’s film, Our Women’s War examined the role of women at home during the war and Sarahjane explained how this work was based on the lives of their grandmothers who took on the jobs vacated by men who went off to fight. Dee Crooks introduced an excerpt of his group’s film, The Rose and the Fusilier which was based on the true story of the Naylor family from Dublin and their involvement in the fighting in France and in Dublin during 1916. Pheme Glass discussed the Live and Learn community group’s performance, Of Bicycles and Fallow Fields which saw members perform a selection of real and created letters based on the themes of family, love and loss. Pheme also read extracts from her recently published first novel, The Blossom or The Bole which is set against the religious difference and community divide of rural Tyrone in the days leading up to and the outbreak of World War One.
In presenting their work at this Being Human event, participants discussed how the MARRI project allowed for an interrogation of the complex narratives that exist within the context of remembering the past in Northern Ireland. By sharing their experience with the assembled audience, they demonstrated how drama and theatre methods can explore the human experience of history and therefore be a powerful way to explore, celebrate and communicate a sense of heritage and community.
Updated News 23rd November 2017
The 5th “First World War Engagement Centre Project” Showcase, Glasgow
On November 23 2017, Information Studies, University of Glasgow organized the 5th “First World War Engagement Centre Project” Showcase in the context of Living Legacies 1914-18.
The showcase was held in the iconic early 20th century building of the Mitchell Library and the audience included project members as well as members of the general public who wanted to:
● Have the opportunity to network with other organisations working on WW1 projects
● Share information about the interesting things that they have found while working on their projects
● Find out how the WW1 Engagement Centres can help their project
● Hear funding and evaluation hints and tips from the experts
● Feel inspired to start thinking about their next project
The room started filling from early in the morning, and the event started with a brief presentation of related projects and the WW1 Engagement Centres, followed by a talk by the host of the event, Prof. Lorna Hughes who gave an illustrated and comprehensive discussion on the uses and benefits of digital tools and methods in the preservation and interpretation of historical memory. Prof. Hughes then addressed the audience and invited them to contemplate on the digital methods they too might have used in their professional and/or amateur historical research, the ways in which digital commemoration has facilitated their undertakings, and the challenges they might have faced while developing digital projects. Finally, Prof. Hughes challenged the audience by posing an intriguing question: “Will digital outputs last over the long term? Do we want them to?”.
In the open discussion which followed there were a number of interesting topics that surfaced, which transcended the boundaries of the digital and the analogue in historical research, such as the question of metadata sufficiency in the physical vis a vis the digital domain, the digital methods employed by local communities in order to keep memory alive, the power of digital and non-digital storytelling, and the issue of co-curation of public history.
Moreover, Prof. Hughes led an insightful discussion on case studies from WW1 projects, which provided the opportunity for tackling crucial issues like the development of sustainability pathways and the importance of social inclusion in digital engagement (how can we hear and record the voices of older people and of the disabled?), which also entails a considerable political context and lies in the epicentre of a very political cultural agenda. The success of the event was largely reflected in the explicit ways in which numerous members of the audience expressed their needs and requirements: teachers of local schools would benefit from access to digital archives, while websites do not always suffice - sometimes narratives made into ebooks should also be available to school children.
Since 2014 the British public have been engaging with the centenary of the First World War through a wide range of projects and experiences, many of which have been created at local, community level. By participating in this survey you are helping us to record these projects, and to refl ect on the experience of the centenary. This research is of benefi t to all who wish to engage in historical commemoration and the co-production of research in the future. Completing the survey should take no longer than 20 minutes. To complete the survey and fi nd out more about the Reflections on the Centenary of the First World War project click here.