Portland Pathways

Portland Pathways was a unique heritage project, run by b-side arts organisation and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, on the Isle of Portland in 2018. The project explored the rich and vital history of public rights of way across the island, and the historic sites these pathways link. As the Research Coordinator for the project, I worked with an incredible group of local residents to explore local archives and collections, conduct field activities and walks to document the pathways, and record local memories of these ways. The research report the group created went towards a series of walks and maps by artist Ania Bas, for b-side Festival, along with an exhibition at b-side Outpost gallery in Fortuneswell, in June 2018.

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Crafting Resistance: The Art of Chilean Political Prisoners

Crafting Resistance: The Art of Chilean Political Prisoners is an oral history film examining how craftwork, made by political prisoners during their internment in the 1970s by the military regime led by General Pinochet, has contributed to the mental health and well-being of those involved, particularly following their exile to the UK. The film engages with important issues around forced migration, well-being and resistance, showing how even in the most extreme circumstances it is sometimes possible to exert a degree of agency and demonstrate resistance. Given the longevity of the Chilean experience, the film illustrates how people live with the aftermath of torture and incarceration.

The film is directed by Carmen Luz Parot and ex political prisoner, Gloria Miqueles and produced by Jasmine Gideon, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at Birkbeck (j.gideon@bbk.ac.uk). The film was edited by Bea Moyes at the Derek Jarman Lab.

Working River: An Oral History of London’s Boatyards

In 2018 I managed the project ‘Working River’, documenting the living history of London’s boatyards, from the Thames Barrier up to Teddington Lock. The project was run by the wonderful Thames Festival Trust, in partnership with the Museum of London, supported with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. To help make this project happen, 25 fantastic volunteers worked with me to interview 28 men and women who spent their lives working in, or with, London’s boatyards and shipyards. Ranging from aged 18 to 87 years old, we recorded their memories of these yards, their training and the development of their prolific boatbuilding skills, as well as the significant changes to this Thames industry during their working lives. 11 of the audio oral history interviews from this project have become part of the collections of the Museum of London, and another 15 are part of a film, made by Digital:Works, about this history. As part of the project we also had four exhibitions along the Thames, as part of Totally Thames festival 2017, attracting over 10,000 visitors to engage with this history. The project was recorded by contemporary photographer Hydar Dewachi, whose beautiful photographs captured the people and the yards today.

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South Dock Marina. Photo © Hydar Dewachi
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B J Wood & Son, Isleworth. Photo © Hydar Dewachi
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Ted Leppard, Eel Pie Island Slipways. Photo © Hydar Dewachi.
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Bill Colley, Richmond Boathouses. Photo (c) Hydar Dewachi.

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For more information about the project, interviews, film, photographs and the book, go to www.thamesfestivaltrust.org.