Young people have kicked off new First World War media project in Swindon. Young people from Create Studios were out in force this week as part of its year-long project to involve over 60 young people from across Swindon in unearthing a moving First World War story from the town. It began with a research visit to Swindon Central Library’s Local Studies and Family History team last month and moved to a new stage with moving research visits in Swindon and London.
Create Studios, Swindon has received £34,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, to explore and celebrate a unique archive of letters from Swindon’s POWs. Young people will work alongside artists and historians to research the story of Mary Slade, who eventually received an MBE for her work mobilising the town’s community to respond to the POW’s need.
The project will enable 60 young people from Dorcan Academy, the Oakfield Project and Create’s MassMedia group, to explore the archive of POW letters housed at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, and work with them and members of Swindon in the Great War group to digitise and share the letters and artefacts about Mary Slade. This week 12 people from Create’s MassMedia group, had their first opportunity to visit and handle the archive, as they began research on the collection which will inspire young people to make digital films, photos and artworks in response to the POW and Mary Slade story over the next 6 months. Working alongside Lead Artist, Gurchetan Singh, the work will culminate in a public touring exhibition in the second half of 2015, bringing this Swindon story to thousands during the WW1 centenary commemorations.