Artist: Oliver Bishop

Archive: Touchstones

Project: Time Travellers Question Time – Peterloo

The aim of our project was to make archives, the art of film making and the themes of Peterloo accessible to those young people who don’t actively access them. 

To do this we worked with Cardinal Langley RC High School in Middleton to create a Question Time style discussion show all about Peterloo.

Specifically we worked with young people from Cardinal Langley’s year 8 class who had never previously been to Touchstones Museum and Art Gallery nor visited (or even knew about) the local studies and archive service. 

Furthermore, the young people knew nothing about Peterloo and had never made a film before. Therefore, our day was a day of firsts – and it was fantastic.

To create the film the young people first visited Touchstones’ Peterloo exhibition in order to understand what happened and why.  Then they visited the local studies and archives service to explore local Samual Bamford archive material as well as character sheets developed by Yan Tan Tethera through research supported by the local studies and archive service.  Together, we explored the motivation for why people were at the demonstrations and why they acted in a certain way. The young people then discussed what questions they would like to ask the people of Peterloo. These questions were boiled down to just eight – which you can see in the film.

To construct the film the young people selected their own costumes, decided on what they would say and helped record the sound.

Other than the camera work the film was made entirely by them – we just edited it together.  We believe that our project is more about the process than the end product – it was about providing the opportunity to research, plan and create a film while discussing an important point in our collective history.

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