Modern Ties

Richard listens to the ideas for the drama moments
This evening we challenged the young people to revisit their drama moments, but in a contemporary context. Again this asks the young people to draw, see and imagine parallels between people's experiences during the First World War in Wolverhampton and their own lives today.  Perhaps not surprisingly their minds were preoccupied with the news of the Brussels terrorist bombings.

The moments, 'sleepwalkers', 'a shot in the dark' and 'awake' seemed ever more relevant, as the young volunteers created scenes where the everyday normality of people going to work and school in the early morning is disturbed by a sudden dramatic, catastrophic, murderous event, the aftermath of which sees everyone scared into a heightened sense of alertness and very much more aware of their individual and collective vulnerability.  There were depictions and freeze frames before and after a bomb explodes, and the idea of a torn letter returned as plans are changed forever by the aftermath of such a destructive act.

A group walks through their scene
We learned how on 1st February 1916 a German Zeppelin captain mistook areas of the Black Country for Liverpool because of heavy cloud and the resulting bombing killed 35 people. This raid contributed to the mounting terror caused by the aircraft as it brought the random killing of the front to civilians at home.

We ended the session confirming a small group of young volunteers who would meet us at the archives of Wolverhampton during the easter holidays. They will be asked to view and respond to images, letters, publications and objects, including the file of Jesse Hill with his letters to his wife Maggie, and the bereavement letter from Sergeant Noble. Our friend and colleague Dr Nicola Gauld will join us along with Liz Palmer, a genealogy expert. They are both members of the People's Heritage Co-operative, whose excellent blog is: http://peoplesheritagecoop.blogspot.co.uk/
Matt Hinks