Archive for Change
The new Jerusalem. Brazilia. An island of advanced development in an old country. As famous as Rome or Paris. The Venice of the North...These are the words of the politicians, and they’ve all been applied in recent years to the City of Newcastle. A city that has been redesigned to the sound of drums and trumpets.
Road to Blaydon, Tyne Tees Television, 1968
The West End of Newcastle has for years, been a place of constant flux. From a booming industrial zone at the beginning of the 20th Century, to the decline and unemployment of the post war years stretching through to the present day, the urban landscape has fluctuated and shifted-from slum clearances to mass council housing projects, privatisation schemes to high-rise tower block developments; interspersed with large-scale demolition, dispersal and ‘regeneration’ schemes.
Archive for Change was set up by three filmmakers and local community organisations with the aim of gathering and showcasing films that tell the complex story of this area from the point of view of those who have lived through these many changes, in order to highlight, preserve and celebrate the stories of those who have made the West End the unique place that it is.
Stories like those of women who organised creches, credit unions and housing campaigns to defend their estates from poverty and unemployment, of the amateur photographers who developed their art by taking to the streets and documenting the demolition and rebuilding of their neighbourhoods during the city’s various redevelopment schemes, and stories of life now, in a landscape of constant change.
The project is a critical collection of new and archive films that explore ideas of home, place and change in Newcastle’s West End, and is also reflective of the stories of many other post-industrial cities across the UK.
Existing archive footage and new films are presented in their entirety alongside one another, reflecting the many layers that underlie this complex subject matter. Inhabiting the space between art installation, documentary film and traditional archive, the project offers visitors a non-linear narrative of this place across time and from multiple perspectives.
The collection is housed online, and has also been expanded to a touring installation alongside cross-disciplinary talks and discussions between artists, urbanists and residents.
Newbridge Space, Newcastle upon Tyne
Altered Spaces, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne
Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Northern Film & Media through the Digital Film Archive Fund, Make Your Mark and Newcastle City Council. With support from local community organisations Scotswood Area Strategy and Heritage & Environment Group.