Chatterley Whitfield Lives Again!
Chatterley Whitfield Colliery in the Potteries, the largest remaining deep mine site in the UK, has stood dormant and silent for almost 30 years. Help us make the colliery sing again with its memories, spectacular past, and hopeful future! Together with Chatterley Whitfield Friends and the Fegg Hayes community, we will co-create a spectacular light show, building on our AHRC-funded projects, Decommissioning the Twentieth Century and Planning Creativity.
Our reanimation event will transform the colliery into a new world, encompassing (for example) its past as a coal mine and unique museum, its present as wildlife refuge or symbol of decay, and its many imagined futures. Our projections will encourage local residents to tell us about the site as a possible future resource, take pride in its past as a mine or museum, and imagine themselves as part of its future. We hope that this leads to deeper reflections on what heritage means, who owns it, curates it, and how it is created in the context of contemporary societies and communities as we move to a post-carbon society.
Our partner, Urban Wilderness, is a local community interest company with proven success in co-producing projects with young people living in areas of urban deprivation. Co-directors Laurel Gallagher, Isla Telford and Jenny Harper practice ‘collaborative placemaking’; conversations, physical interventions and public events that interrupt habitual relationships between people and places. These acts are documented as co-created narratives, challenging negative perceptions of brownfield land and young people living in areas of urban deprivation.
Photographs, short films and installations are shared with local communities, arts audiences and academics, raising issues such as children's rights to play and access to urban nature.