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Read, Watch and Listen

Vincent Nsanza at Nyange school

“One of the students is buried beside the school.

If I could speak to the dead I would say ‘thank you for your heroism’. Sometimes I visit the grave on my own to be calm. I feel sorrow and happiness. I imagine what the children would be like now if they were alive.”

Susannah Kamanzi at Home

“This is the house where I lived with my husband for over fifty years. I remember our twenty fifth wedding anniversary here – after that we stopped counting!

We celebrated with our family. There was urwagwa and other local beers, singing and clapping. The house was full of people.”

Susannah Kamanzi at Home

“I was fifteen when I got married.  I don’t know what I looked like then – I had no mirror and no cameras so I don’t remember!

My husband was handsome inside and outside. We lived together until he died after the genocide. It was very peaceful. We never had any fights.”

Susannah Kamanzi at Home

“My husband was a butcher.  He sold meat from a table in town. We had twelve children together…

Today I still walk into town. It takes me a bit longer than before.”

Jean Marie Vianney at Church

“My first memory of this place is praying in the church and praising God. I was eight. I prayed for amahoro – peace – for the country and for my family.

My other memory is always of the perpetrators and what happened in this church.”

Jean Marie Vianney at Church

“In April 1994 the genocide began. Many fled here because we thought in church nobody could be killed. The genocidaires waited. Not out of pity but so that as many people as possible would gather. Then they killed everyone.

My elder sister and her children were killed in this church. Her three children and grandchildren. You can’t say anything… It was night.”

Jean Marie Vianney at Church

“I’ve been in the church choir since 1970. There are only three or four people remaining from that time.

In 1996 it was difficult to start singing again.  It took courage. The choir means that Rwanda is unity. We don’t think about anything else apart from God and the sound we’re making.”

Artist Yves Manzi in Butare

“This is the commercial centre of Butare. It was made by the Arabs in the 1920s so it’s sometimes called the ‘Arab Quarter’. 

Today the old shops are being torn down to make way for new buildings.”

Artist Yves Manzi in Butare

“I grew up in exile in Congo. When I returned home I studied at the National University of Rwanda here in Butare. I walked along this road to the university every day for five years.

Now the buildings are disappearing, I want to keep the memories. So I photograph the changing city.”

Artist Yves Manzi in Butare

“In Kinshasa we lived on the 7th floor in the centre of town, near the port of the river Congo.

When I walk along this road today I remember life in Congo. The replacement buildings that will be built many stories high are like the place I used to live."

The Vices are hanged.

From left, Theft (Stephen Docherty), Falsehood (Barrie Hunter), and Deceit (Jimmy Chisholm). Flattery (Billy Riddoch) acts as hangman. And, as Falsehood dies, a raven (bottom left) flies up ‘as if it were his soul’, as the script demands. The Three Estates is a complex, uneasy play which explores how notions of Scottish nationhood, politics, national character and identity were debated at a seminal moment in history, the decades prior to the Reformation. It retains the power to touch nerves in contemporary Scotland and speak to issues of pressing importance, not least at moments when national identity, good governance, the causes and consequences of poverty, and the moral responsibilities of governors and churchmen are once again at the forefront of the (inter)national conversation.

Rehearsals begin.

Oppression (George Drennen) practices his wiles on Theft (Stephen Docherty). The project was a collaboration between drama scholars (Greg Walker (Edinburgh), Tom Betteridge (Brunel), and Eleanor Rycroft, (now Bristol)), an art historian (Sally Rush, Glasgow), and film scholar (Ann Gray, Lincoln)), working with the curatorial and interpretative staff at Historic Scotland and AandBC Theatre Company, led by the director Gregory Thompson. A large research grant from the AHRC allowed us to employ a stellar cast of professional Scottish actors, each of whom brought their own insights to the project, and to Enthuse TV, directed by Richard Jack, to film the productions in HD digital video for open-access presentation on the project website. http://www.stagingthescottishcourt.org/

The Clergy.

Clockwise from the top, Parson (Michael Daviot), Spirituality (Tom McGovern), Prioress (Angela Darcy) and Abbot (Peter Kenny). Working with Greg Walker and Ellie Rycroft, Gregory Thompson turned recreating the lost 1540 script into the subject of a new interlude, making the academic challenges of recovering the lost performance the subject of its own drama. The project’s outreach team (Carrie Anne Newman and Neville Miller) engaged local people, school and college classes, and disadvantaged youngsters in discussions about the problems of Scottish identity and politics raised in the play. A series of public lectures in Linlithgow shared with Historic Scotland discussed the history, architecture, and culture of the Scottish Renaissance, and workshops for drama teachers explored aspects of the Satire in performance. ‘The Cupar Banns’, a short, bawdy advertisement for the 1552 performance toured local towns, culminating in a performance outside the Scottish Parliament.

Dame Sensuality and her ladies.

From left, Danger (Helen McAlpine), Fund Jonet (Joyce Falconer), Hamelines (Sally Reid), and Sensuality (Ruth Milne). The Three Estates is a play that most Scots think they know. But what we know is actually a very partial version of the play (in every sense). For the Tyrone Guthrie production of 1948 used a script (edited by Robert Kemp) which cut the text by roughly two thirds, removing the more vulgar sexual satire and much of the serious engagement with politics. And since 1948 it has been variations on that bowdlerised version that people have seen, and which has informed their sense of Scotland’s dramatic and political history.

Deceit (Jimmy Chisholm) drives off Good Counsel (Gerda Stevenson)

Deceit (Jimmy Chisholm) drives off Good Counsel (Gerda Stevenson), with John Keilty (The composer and director of music) and his troupe behind. ‘Staging and Representing the Scottish Court’ took the play back to its roots – literally, in that it sought to ‘recover’ and restage the 1540 interlude in the same hall for which it was written – and by producing the full five-hour outdoor version so people can see it for the first time since 1554 in all its complex, bewildering grandeur.  Our aim was both to discover what we could about the play’s relationship with its original settings, and what it suggests about Renaissance culture in Scotland, but also to test what it means to Scottish audiences now, when presented whole, rather than cut to reflect modern agendas.

Pauper (David McKay) begs for alms among the audience.

It became increasingly clear through the rehearsals that it is the arrival of Pauper in the play that turns a broadly allegorical play about the redemption of a king into a powerfully realistic play about political and social reform. He enters the arena during an interval, as the other actors are leaving the stage. He comes begging for help him get to St. Andrews, where he hopes the ecclesiastical courts will help him to get back the cows that his vicar has seized from him in death duties. So at first the audience is unsure whether he is part of the play or not, whether his demands are fictional or all too real. And that is clearly the point. Pauper introduces not only a new tone to the drama; he brings a whole new social class and agenda into the purview of the British stage. Here is an uneducated, working man sharing the stage with princes and their advisors, and sharing the same language and register with them. His needs seem concrete and immediate, and he speaks to the king and to God’s avenging archangel without fear or favour, daring to suggest what he would do if he were king, or even pope. No equivalent figure can be found in Shakespeare, nor indeed in British drama as a whole, until the modern era.

Ship-Shape and Boaty Fashion

It’s been over a year since 'Boaty McBoatface' first made an appearance across social media, but oddly-named ships are not just a phenomenon of twenty-first-century social media. Professor Craig Lambert, expert in historical shipping, tells us more.

Changing the Story

A University of Leeds-led project to help young people whose lives have been affected by conflict will showcase how the arts and humanities can help those in need.

Interview with PhD award winner Dr John Miles

All humanities researchers are entrepreneurs, according to Dr John Miles. And he argues that doing a PhD in the arts and humanities equips you with vital skills for work in – or out – of academia.

Conservation 1

This image and the next one show the delicate work undertaken by the conservator. While the colours have remained astonishingly brilliant, the paper has deteriorated.  

'Still' by Denise Riley

Riley wrote the poem in the wake of her son’s death but never published it. It plays on the many meanings of the word ‘Still’: 'still' as ‘quiet’, as 'continually', as 'constant', as 'even though', etcetera. Even though the poem deals with death, Riley assured us that the shape of the funerary urn was created quite accidentally by centring the words on the page.

(c) Auriol Herford, no title, translation of Sam's image, 11-18 March 2015:

“Taking the lead from Sam and his interest in the connections between the natural and digital world, I reflected on the idea of my instinct and relation to technology. Last week I had a Caesarean birth followed by a week of rigorous monitoring. Every night over the last year I have also plugged a catheter bag onto my eldest son. I translated the medical objects and fragments from the experience into an image that used printmaking, drawing and collage.” http://kitestudios.org/ 

(c) Sam Treadaway, 'Techno-Techno-Techno-Techno', translation of 'Still', 4-11 March 2015:

"Still immediately reminded me of a book I’d recently read discussing connections (and tensions) between the natural and digital worlds. These ideas provided the basis of my understanding, deciphering and transformation of the poem. The ‘translation’ process was initiated by converting ‘Still’ into computer binary code. Adapting the outcome I endeavoured to capture the essence of ‘Still’ in a single image. I am neutral and non-attached as to the success of this process and wish my fellow artists an interesting and rewarding match." www.samtreadaway.com

(c) Bryan Eccleshall, 'Master Square', translation of Katarina's image, 25 March – 1st April 2015:

“Translators ordinarily shift things into their own language. Hence I have made a drawing of a photograph using a technique developed over the last couple of years, but with a slight difference. I took the photograph I was sent and edited it to make sixteen square images that, when assembled would resemble the image I was given, but this time as a drawing. The thing I made is a drawing, but for the purpose of this exercise, I assembled individual scans of the drawings into a jpeg in PhotoShop.” https://bryaneccleshall.wordpress.com/

(c) Sarah Sparkes, 'Gap between the nothing', translation of Bryan's image, 1-8 April 2015:

"Although I have stayed close, in compositional respects to Bryan's work, there is a gap through which something other has slipped in. I looked intensely at Bryan’s image, wanting mine to enable me to conjure the ghost of his. I assembled my visual signs – techniques, symbols and material processes that are my own native creative language - and started making actual objects and photographing them, then created a digital collage from these. On my computer, Bryan’s image had a blue cast, which is reflected in my translation.” www.sarahsparkes.com

(c) Sharon Kivland, no title, translation of Sarah's image, 8-15 April 2015:

Sharon's full translation of Sarah's work is a short animation, which traces the journey into the mirror and back. “I live in two languages, haunted by a third. There is constant movement as a word thought in one language passes into a spoken word in another. This happens in the life between one image (another’s) and another (mine).  An  image, precisely thought,  is – and passes through – a mirror. This is quite a literal translation of the image that preceded it (the gap or void, the blue cast that is taken from the image before, the decorative detail that might be supposed to be feminine). It is impossible to keep completely still, even when caught or fixed.” www.sharonkivland.com

(c) Juneau Projects, no title, translation of Sharon's image, 15-22 April 2015:

"We took an element from Sharon's image (the black rectangle) and made this into a physical object. We then photographed the object in a location echoing/paralleling Sharon's image (a canal as moving mirror in reference to Sharon's video), contemporary artists' studios (the warehouse). Finally we took inspiration from the quality of Sharon's image itself (a printed reproduction) and digitally printed an object onto the photographed object to produce a crude figure (artist or model).” www.juneauprojects.co.uk

(c) Heather Connelly, no title, translation of Juneau Projects' image, 22-29 April 2015

“I responded instinctively to the image, being particularly drawn to its formal composition and context – where the sculpture had been photographed and the objects that surrounded it. I sought out similar locations, photographing various elements, using a mirror to interrupt, reflect and deflect what I saw. I then manipulated and collaged some of the images together – layering and modifying them in ​

(c) Briony Campbell, no title, translation of Heather's image, 29 April – 6 May 2015:

"I wanted to represent Heather's vision of water, sky and leaves. Taking the clouds directly I fused them with a tree. I interpreted her plant pots as the domestic element; at once giving the plants the love they need to grow but also asserting ownership of natural things. So in my translation the pots became a human holding tight to the tree. Where Heather repeated the plant pot motif, I took the lights on the horizon of my original seascape and floated them into the sky as stars. The image is a collage of three of my own photos (involving long exposures) and one element of Heather's image.” www.brionycampbell.com

The Musicians' Journal, No. 26 (October 1927)

In 1927 the Musicians’ Union was active on several fronts to support members’ interests. It resisted reductions in pay following the General Strike and fought against harsh conditions of service when, for example, some cinema owners insisted their orchestras play seven days a week. However, to achieve its aims, the Union needed sufficient income to employ officials and organise members; but those very members resisted moves to raise the subscription.

The Musicians’ Journal, No. 29 (July 1928)

The competition that civilian musicians faced from military bands in public parks and seaside resorts increased in the summer months. A year later, in the summer of 1929, however, this would seem a less menacing challenge than the rush by many exhibitors to install pre-recorded sound in their cinemas.

The Musicians’ Journal, No. 30 (October 1928)

In cinemas, the Panatrope was a two-turntable gramophone with amplified output which allowed operators to play a pre-recorded soundtrack for silent films. Like the more satisfactory systems that reproduced sound recorded on film (represented here by the American salesman, frame right), it threatened the livelihoods of musicians who accompanied films in cinemas. A related article attacked the technology being introduced in Britain and claimed that "the public cannot live on 'canned' music all the time any more than on canned pork."

The Musicians Journal, New Series 1 (April 1929)

This front-cover image entitled, “The Key To The Situation” directed musicians to an article advising them to join the Musical Performers Protection Association. However, the company was to fail in its objectives of collecting fees from recorded music. Nor did it reverse the takeover by sound films. Although too few talkies were produced in 1929-30 to fill cinemas’ programmes completely, the studios persuaded owners to meet the cost of conversion by focusing on the prospect of increased takings and cutting out musicians’ wages.

The Musicians’ Journal, New Series 2 (July 1929)

“Keep Blowing Boys.” This cover image introduced an article designed to raise players’ morale. The piece argued that the failings of talkies were so obtrusive that the fad could not last. For example, it alleged, someone other than the actor has to do the talking. For that reason the actor works with his or her back to camera to conceal the fact that the voice and the movement of the performer’s lips do not synchronise.

The Musicians’ Journal, New Series 3 (October 1929)

Reflecting the accelerating pace of converting cinemas for sound, this cartoon’s prediction for 1930 relied on a counterattack that instrumentalists thought incontrovertible. In October 1929, few filmgoers would have disagreed that the quality of mechanical sound reproduction was far inferior to live music. But the riposte sidestepped two key facts: sound systems were improving fast and, more significantly, that autumn British audiences, no matter the music’s quality, were flocking to the latest sensation, the talkies.

Musicians’ Union Monthly Report, New Series 3 (March 1930)

The vision of orchestras returning to cinemas arose when the Union recognised filmgoers’ continuing appetite (despite improvements in sound reproduction) for hearing live music as part of the programme. Kine-Variety revived Victorian music hall and vaudeville formulas, programming live orchestras and performers alongside talkie feature films. Unhappily, few Musicians’ Union writers recognised that in the Depression era this was exclusively a big-city phenomenon. Only in picture palaces were well-to-do audiences and holidaymakers paying the high prices for these top-class shows. 

The Musicians Journal, New Series 10 (July 1931)

This cartoon includes the caption: “Trades Union Congress Resolution, 1923. This Congress emphatically condemns the practice of allowing Army, Navy and Air Force bands to enter into collective and individual competition with civilian musicians, on the ground that it is unfair and subsidised competition, and intensifies the unemployment problem. The Congress further calls on all Labour representatives in Parliament and on Local Authorities to exert all their power to put a stop to this injustice.” Eight years later, with 4,000 musicians unemployed, the Union claimed that the injustice continued.

Landforms

Digital Photograph 2013 

©Rose Ferraby

The land is a rich mixture of the geological and cultural. The sculptural topography is ingrained with the lines and layers of human action. From this, we can begin to unravel some of the many narratives that play through landscape, both now and in the past. 

 

Prehistoric Encounter

Screenprint 2008

©Rose Ferraby

Screenprinting has allowed me to explore the layered nature of archaeological landscapes on paper. Archaeology is about peeling layers back in order to make sense of them. Screenprinting is about placing them back, choosing how much tone and emphasis to give each feature. In this piece, I was interested in how aerial photographs of prehistoric landscapes are interpreted, abstracting the landscape and removing a sense of scale. 

 

Field Forms

Screenprint 2009

©Rose Ferraby

The landscape is always in formation. As we go into the future, there is an awareness of what has gone before. In this way, we can trace human actions into the past. This screenprint of fields was built up slowly. Each field is a separate layer, echoing the gradual changes of the land as one feature is set in relation to those around it. 

Remote Sensing

Wax crayon and watercolour 2009

©Rose Ferraby

There are many ways of seeing into the earth. Remote sensing is increasingly used in archaeology as a non-intrusive method of mapping large areas of landscape. This allows us to reveal the relationships of archaeological features over large scales and time periods. This drawing is based on a survey undertaken with the British School at Rome near Tivoli, Italy. The regimented lines of a Roman villa are surrounded by the smooth quiet of undisturbed land.

 

Excavation

Digital Photograph 2010

©Rose Ferraby

Peeling off the turf and exploring the layers that lie beneath allows a unique view into the earth and our relationship with it. The process allows a close and tacit understanding. The archaeologist’s hand learns the feel of loams and grits, fills and cuts. These long remembered details and textures build a material memory of the archaeological.

 

Green Stone Axe

Wax crayon and watercolour 2010

©Rose Ferraby

Archaeological contexts can reveal rich material that we must learn to understand. Drawing is a way of becoming acquainted with the forms and details. It is a way of thinking through the material and tracing it to memory. This is a study of a Neolithic axe, whose stone is sourced from a Neolithic quarry in the Langdales, Cumbria. The work formed part of a book ‘Stonework’ (Edmonds and Ferraby 2013) with Professor Mark Edmonds of York University.

 

Purbeck Underground

Digital Photograph 2013

©Rose Ferraby

My interest in stone has led me to explore deeper into the land. Quarries offer an extraordinary view into the earth: a rich ground for cultural geologies. This is one of the underground ‘quarrs’ where quarrymen extracted particular beds of limestone before modern machinery made large scale open cast quarries viable. The long exposure photography was a way of slowly absorbing this unique space.

 

Portland Mine

Digital Photograph 2013

©Rose Ferraby

Beneath the fields of Portland, Dorset, a new mine is hollowing the earth. Portland stone has been used for building for over a thousand years. It is found throughout the City of London and in some of our most famous buildings. Jordan’s Mine (Albion Stone Ltd) is itself an inverted architecture. Beneath the ground, its angular and regimented corridors are a photographer’s dream. 

 

Cliff Quarry

Charcoal, graphite and conte crayon 2013

©Rose Ferraby

The cliff quarries of Purbeck are much better known than its secret undergrounds. Winspit was once an active quarry removing beds including Pond Freestone, Blue Bit and Spangle. Some of this stone was used to build Ramsgate harbour whilst other went into buildings in the City of London. The quarry is now the haunt of climbers and walkers. Graffiti etches the walls over the fading marks of picks. Drawing the space allowed me to absorb it, and to learn the beds of stone.