Uncovering the lost stories of migrants in Medway.

Over the summer of 2023 we uncovered the histories of migration and the stories of people who have travelled through Medway and made it their home as well as finding out something of the hopes and dreams of those who live there now.

We started with the stories from recent immigrants and linked these to the waves of previous immigrants and the achievements they have made in the UK. 

We explored the multicultural histories of Medway, using ‘migration’ as a theme to celebrate the area’s historic role as a gateway for waves of people coming to this country in the forefront, from the historic – Huguenots, through Jewish, non-conformist – to the present-day communities, many of whom have arrived via London or through the Historic Chatham Dockyard.. We linked the present-day live issues to the historic, to find and revealed the lost stories and achievements of those that have made the UK their home.

Residents of the area learned how to use creative techniques in 3D scanning, writing and digital technologies by taking part in a series of workshops inspired by local archives. They contributed to the creation of a digital art piece that brought together stories of migration histories as well as current lives at Electric Medway. They discovered how to access archives and became history detectives.

 

Queen Elizabeth II puppet at Hastings Old Town Carnival, MSL
Queen Elizabeth II puppet at Hastings Old Town Carnival, MSL
Queen Elizabeth II puppet at Hastings Old Town Carnival, MSL

The stories, scans, photogrammetry and research became an interactive, immersive piece created by Adam Glen which allows viewers to explore the junction of Luton Road and Chatham Hill. The piece debuted at Electric Medway at Luton Library in October 2023 as part of the Digital Takeover Day.

History DetectivesSnap Content

History DetectivesSnap Content

In addition, artists Nadia Perrotta and Rosemary Chea took a dive into the stories that ebb and flow around Chatham Food Market on the Luton Road to produce a piece, ‘A Town In Lieu’ which also made its debut as part of the Digital Takeover Day. 

They worked with students from local schools and shoppers at the store to draw out the threads of their family history and weave them into a digital experience. Their inspiring piece envisioned the Food Market as a bridge between past and present, where diverse cultures converge. This digital, augmented reality installation included videos, narration and visitors were given a free zine to take home.

 

On this project we worked closely with Medway creatives, Kevin Grist of Electric Medway, Kate Mechedou of Mrs Bakers Medway Theatre Company and Sam Hall of Wordsmithery. Thanks to National Lottery players and the National Lottery Heritage Fund

 

Queen Elizabeth II puppet at Hastings Old Town Carnival, MSL
Queen Elizabeth II puppet at Hastings Old Town Carnival, MSL
Queen Elizabeth II puppet at Hastings Old Town Carnival, MSL
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