War Ephemera: Northumbria University Newcastle blog


During the 2023 Memory Studies Association International Conference in Newcastle, I met Ann-Marie Einhaus, Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature at Northumbria University Newcastle. She is project lead on ‘Ephemera and writing about war in Britain, 1914 to the present’. It is a 30-month collaborative research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

I was invited to write a blog about La Vojo Returne which is now available on their project website here.

Artist walk – Une balade d’artiste


Un regard alternatif sur Grandpré Artistes , traducteurs et résidents
30 Avril 2023

As part of my Arts Council DYCP funding for 2023, I created an experimental community engagement as part of my ‘La Vojo Returne’ project. Corinne Painter from Leeds University visited my residency to review how an artist can have a conversation with a place and its residents, and I made the most of this opportunity and invited both Corinne and Lara_Marie Hägerling from Braunschweig Universitat to give readings in German as part of the walk.

The walk was a collaboration of voices both local and distant. Postcards written during WWI were translated and read for the first time in the place they had been written, details and alternative stories told in locations infrequently populated, residents told stories of distant relatives, and the audience added to conversations, as we walked around the town’s paths and back alleys.

8 attendees were also given disposable b/w film cameras to document the walk in whatever way they felt appropriate, these were then processed on my return and I shared scans of the images with each participant photographer.

Click here to review the pdf of the accompanying booklet each attendee received and here the script used on the day – significant parts of the walk were unscripted by readers.

Grandpré has a small Secondary School, which services the town and surrounding villages. As part of this trip in conjunction with Corinne Painter and Lara_Marie Hägerling, we also ran a classroom-based postcard workshop. 2 sessions were developed to look at how the postcards of the town reflected on students’ understanding of where they lived. It was an opportunity to practice their english both verbally and written, and was a very dynamic session, German reading of the cards was also shared. We received very positive feedback from the teachers. This fed into a second session that I completed two weeks later, where a creative writing session in english on a set of specially insitu-printed postcards of archive and photographic images, was completed. The resulting postcards were then posted by me from Grandpré’s post office, to a list of artists, emigres and academics, who then shared ‘selfies’ back on receipt of the cards, so the students understood this early analogue type of social media and the nature of card writing.