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November 2015

The release of Arc’s World War One Centenary film

Our Street: Patriotism and Violence – a First World War Centenary project in partnership with Eastside Community Heritage, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

In November 2013, Arc was awarded funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a two-year community project for the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, in partnership with Eastside Community Heritage. Our Street: Patriotism and Violence was designed in consultation with a steering group of young people, exploring and assembling experiences of the Borough’s World War One heritage, including patriotism and violence to the present day, as part of the WWI Centenary Commemorations.

In January 2014, a core group of over 20 students aged 13 and over from Dagenham’s Jo Richardson Community School were recruited onto a 32-week history and drama-based workshop programme running from January 2014 until July 2015. Over the course of the project, which culminated in a filming week in October 2015, a total of 56 young people from the Borough participated in the project.

Sessions focused on local stories of the First World War through engagement with the Borough’s archives, historians and key literature from the period. Participants were also encouraged to engage with older residents to talk about the impact of the Great War on their way of lives, as well as contemporary experiences from later generations of the Borough’s diverse community. The work was documented using a variety of methods for presentation, including exhibition, film, resource material and live dramatisation.

Arc has produced an accompanying Education Resource for teachers to work on WWI themes with their students in the classroom, which can be downloaded here:

Our Street Education resource (PDF, 381k)

The resulting exhibition went on to tour the Borough in 2015, reflecting participants’ personal experiences of the changing nature of patriotism and violence from WWI until the present day and stories collected from around the Borough.

The accompanying 24-minute film is available on DVD and online at YouTube here:

Images from the Our Street exhibition at Jo Richardson School, with participants, students and teachers in discussion:

Our Street Exhibition

Our Street Exhibition