A share of a pensioner's Christmas 'bonus'

Ballin, Deborah and Johnson, Esther (2015) A share of a pensioner's Christmas 'bonus'. [Show/Exhibition]

Abstract

The output is a series of exhibitions, created as part of collaborative research, consisting of 26′ audio work by Esther Johnson and Debbie Ballin, a photographic series by Esther Johnson, a selection of artefacts, from the People’s History Museum and NCCME archives curated by Johnson and Ballin and toys donated to children and families of striking miners in Xmas 1984. Research process: A share of a pensioner’s Christmas ‘Bonus’ is part of a larger research project titled Echoes of Protest, investigating the legacy of being involved in significant protest movements from a child’s perspective. The project uses creative methodologies to develop new understandings of the role protest can play in the politicization of children and the long-term impact of its aftermath on their lives. The first phase of this research explores how acts of generosity by total strangers made Christmas possible for children of striking miners in 1984, and what it was like to grow up in the shadow of the Miners’ Strike. Research Insights: These exhibitions offer multiple perspectives on the research and bear witness to the untold stories of children of the ’84 –’85 Miner’s Strike. This point of view of the Strike was not well documented and individuals interviewed had never previously told their stories from this perspective. This led to insights into the way formative experiences of the Strike affected contributors’ political views in adulthood. Creative methodologies enabled museum audiences to gain an extended understanding of the emotional experience of history and to connect to these stories. Exhibiting archive materials alongside audio-visual work reinvigorated and expanded on ‘official’ historical accounts of the Strike. Dissemination: The output was exhibited at People’s History Museum, Manchester. 5 December 2015 – 18 January 2016 and National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield. 12 November 2016 – 18 January 2017.

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