Thanks to a grant of £46,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the stories behind migration to Cumbria are being explored in an exhibition at Kendal Library. From 16 November, the public will be able to visit the Everyday Life Portraits art exhibition to learn about what caused people to leave the place they were born and how they arrived in Cumbria, revealing their rich and eventful lives.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the exhibition is being put together by Cumbrian artist Jane Dudman, as part of the Hidden Stories Shared Lives oral history project. Jane is developing a close relationship with a number of the participants in the project who chose to share their story of migration; the exhibition will represent their stories through photos and interactive artefacts that will allow the visitors to start to understand the complex nature of migration.
The Hidden Stories project is being run by Cumbria Development Education Centre (CDEC), based in Ambleside, with partners AWAZ Cumbria, South Lakes District Council as well as South Lakes Equality and Diversity Partnership. The purpose of the project is to show how varied Cumbria’s population really is and how many of us do get on with our daily lives with our stories of migration hidden. The project brings out these fascinating and informative stories and is showing how they are relevant in the ever changing political and social nature of both our county and our place in the world.
As well as the culminating exhibition in Kendal (there will also be one in the north of the county), the project is creating an invaluable online resource of snippets of interviews, an archive of interviews for use by generations to come, a series of educational resource boxes that schools can borrow from CDEC and a workshop for teachers so that they can understand how they can apply the resources and tools the project is creating to their everyday teaching.