Sunderland Echo

Sights and sounds of Southwick lives

- By Kevin Clark Twitter: @kevinclark

The culture of Southwick has really been put on the map.

A new digital map of the area has been created, outlining its cultural past and present.

A group of community enthusiast­s from the ward has worked in partnershi­p with researcher­s from the University of Sunderland, to create a digital map focusing on the life and culture of local people.

The project is a culminatio­n of eighteen months of work with community groups, local historians, artists and those who live and work in the area.

The community researcher­s included writer Alan Parkinson and visual artist Lyn Killeen who delivered a series of community research workshops at Southwick Community Primary school, Austin House family centre and the Southwick Neighbourh­ood Youth Project (SNYP).

“Research is important to me personally as well as in my own practice as an artist,” said Lynn.

“Working with Putting Southwick on the Map as a community researcher I’ve done lots of research as well as learning many new skills, including oral history recording and participat­ory action research.

“I’ve just learned so much that I can take into my future as an artist, and to share with to the group.

Alan has been delighted with the reaction from Suddickers to the project.

“The response has been excellent,” he said.

“Once people knew what we were doing and understood the aim, they really bought into it.”

The digital map is made up of stories, artwork, photograph­s and voices portraying Southwick past and present in the words of people who live and work there.

It is part of a wider research project called Culture Map funded by the University of Sunderland and is led by Professor Trish Winter and Dr Caroline Mitchell. The map is designed by Dr Andrew Richardson.

“Our research has revealed the richness and variety of Southwick’s cultural life,” said Prof Winters.

“The map is very diverse. You will hear the voices of Southwick people across the generation­s. You will see stories of hidden artworks and Southwick inventions, and read historical accounts of the creative pursuits of skilled artisans in the shipyards and mines.

“It displays a host of activity from communal activities like the school’s lantern festival and the juvenile jazz bands of the 1970s, to young people’s creative stories.”

“You will hear the voices of people across generation­s” PROF WINTERS

 ??  ?? Putting Southwick on the Map. Front, from left, Dr Caroline Mitchell, Dr Andrew Richardson and Professor Trish Winter.
Putting Southwick on the Map. Front, from left, Dr Caroline Mitchell, Dr Andrew Richardson and Professor Trish Winter.
 ??  ?? Visual artist Lyn Killeen.
Visual artist Lyn Killeen.

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