Scaled 1000 (1940s Brighton seafront)
Scaled 1000 (1940s Brighton seafront)

Past Present continues


07 March 2012

It’s been a busy time for Past Present, over the past few weeks several activities have taken place that highlight interest in this fascinating project. Project Manager Juliette Buss and Lighthouse’s Programme Curator Jamie Wyld spoke at the Imperial War Museum’s conference, Challenging History. Artist Hannah Brady has been out and about with young people, creating a collection of World War 2 images for an augmented reality app. And there was a teacher’s INSET day, where Lives at War was presented to Brighton and Hove’s history teachers. By Juliette Buss (Project Manager, Past Present), Hannah Brady (Artist, Past Present) and Jamie Wyld (Programme Curator, Lighthouse)

1909 (Photos of young people making work for Historypin) Image credited to: Hannah Brady
1909 (Photos of young people making work for Historypin) Image credited to: Hannah Brady

On 24 February, Programme Curator Jamie Wyld and Past Present Project Manager Juliette Buss attended the Challenging History conference at University City of London, organised by the Imperial War Museum. Jamie and Juliette were invited to speak about how digital technology can support heritage learning, in particular about histories that are sensitive, such as war, and to introduce the Lives at War game to a group of academics, historians and history teachers. The game created lots of discussion and feedback about the project and game, an excellent opportunity to promote the game to a national audience.

Over the past six weeks, twelve students from BACA (Brighton Aldridge Community College) embarked on a project to create a photographic collection showing Brighton during World War 2. Exploring the augmented reality phone app Historypin the students selected photographs taken during WW2 located in Brighton, virtually siting them in their original location, using geo-location. Walking through the streets of Brighton their collection offers the opportunity to explore what Brighton looked like during wartime and how much it has changed today. The app can be downloaded from Historypin on Android and iPhone.

Concentrating upon the themes ‘Life on the Home Front’ and ‘Women at War’ the photograph collection provides a glance at the lives of those living in Brighton during the time of WW2. Each photograph in the collection has a story attached. Written by the students these narratives are based on research into the diaries, daily surveys, posters and propaganda archived at the Mass Observation Archive. In addition to this the students had the fantastic opportunity to talk to two elder women with first hand experience of living in wartime Brighton. These discussions provided a real in depth understanding of what life really was like on the home front and also helped the students to add a little humour to their narratives.

Past Present artists Annis Joslin and Hannah Brady visited Cardinal Newman School on Monday 27 February, to introduce Brighton & Hove History teachers to Lives at War – the computer game developed as part of Past Present. Annis and Hannah were invited to go along to the citywide INSET day to speak about the potential of the game as a valuable learning resource for teachers. "The game generated a lot of interest and excitement amongst the gathered teachers, who had the chance to have a play themselves.

Past Present Exhibition
All of this work will be showcased in an exhibition at Lighthouse from 17 March – 01 April 2012. For more information click here.

Past Present has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Digital Film Archive Fund supported Lives at War’s development.


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