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Is your ‘media archaeology’ part of the rich history of South Bristol?

The Hen and Chicken pub on North Street, Bedminster, in 1994

The Hen and Chicken pub on North Street, Bedminster, in 1994 George Gallop

The Wills factory on Upton Road in 1983

The Wills factory on Upton Road in 1983 George Gallop

Press release issued: 19 June 2012

Residents in South Bristol are being urged to dig out their ‘media archaeology’ for a unique history project which is looking at the community heritage of the area. Film, video, slides and photographs from the past 150 years are welcome at the Know Your South Bristol event, which is taking place on Saturday [23 June] at Knowle West Media Centre.

Film, video, slides and photographs from the past 150 years are welcome at the Know Your South Bristol event taking place on Saturday [23 June] at Knowle West Media Centre [KWMC].

Experts from the University of Bristol and members of the KWMC team will be on hand to explore people’s neighbourhood knowledge in an effort to document the rapidly changing landscape of the area.

South Bristol's neighbourhoods are rich in heritage – from Iron Age metalworking, Roman settlements, medieval manors and pilgrimage routes to estates funded by the slave trade, heavy industry, socially progressive housing estates and the material culture of migrating communities.

Dr Angela Piccini, a Senior Lecturer in Screen Media at the University of Bristol, said:  “South Bristol has an incredibly rich history and we’re keen work with communities to help them to unlock the heritage they have in the form of home movies and family photos and to contribute this information to the bigger story of Bristol’s history. While some of the area’s heritage remains underground, much of it is all around us - visible, if we know where to look.

“We would love people to bring in their old family photos, 35mm slides and any video footage or old film they might have – and the older technologies they used to play these media. We’ll screen as much footage as possible and audio record people’s stories about these events and places. Their input is key to understanding how modern history is both made and documented.”

Know Your South Bristol is organised in conjunction with Knowle West Media Centre, Brislington Community Archaeology Project, Brislington Brook Project, Greater Bedminster Community Partnership, Brislington Community Partnership and South Bristol’s Reflex Camera Club.

Penny Evans, Assistant Director at Knowle West Media Centre, said: “This is a great opportunity to work collaboratively with South Bristol partners and bring together neighbourhoods from across the south of the city.  We hope residents will dig through their houses and bring forward their unique photos and films, and share these personal stories.  There will also be the opportunity to view some of the historical archives within the University of Local Knowledge (ULK) project.”

Saturday’s event is part of the Know Your Bristol project, run by the University of Bristol in partnership with Bristol City Council and local community organisations to celebrate local community heritage.

It’s a hands-on history project which explores some of the city’s best-loved and most intriguing places. It has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Connected Communities Programme.

  • Admission is free and no booking required. People can come along to Knowle West Media Centre, Leinster Avenue, Bristol, BS4 1NL, any time between 11am and 4pm on Saturday [21 June].

The final Know Your Bristol event takes place at M Shed on Saturday, 30 June. It will celebrate the heritage of the entire city and its people. Residents can bring in objects which have a particular meaning to them, from photo albums to bicycles, tea cups, season tickets or children’s books. For further information, please see the Centre for Public Engagement’s website.


Further information

About Knowle West Media Centre.

Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) is a charity and arts organisation based in South Bristol. For over 15 years KWMC has been supporting communities to access digital technologies and arts activities – and get the most out of them. KWMC runs a variety of projects and groups for young people to experiment with different media platforms, and offers a range of digital and environmental projects to encourage sustainable living.

KWMC has collected a number of local photographs which can be seen via its Flickr pages.

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