How acts of generosity by total strangers made Christmas possible for families of striking miners
5 December 2015 — 18 January 2016
Time 10:00 - 17:00
Duration 7 hours
Cost In order to keep our exhibitions programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation
‘We got presents that were donated…. I got a little cheap plastic watch and a coat that my auntie had made, but I just didn’t even care ’cos I was having so much fun.’
Sam, miner’s daughter aged 15 during the strike It’s Christmas 1984.
Sam, Gayle, Jayne and Craig are the children of striking miners. This is the story of how acts of generosity by total strangers made Christmas possible for them that year, andwhat it was like for them to grow up in the shadow of the Miners’ Strike.
This exhibition bears witness to their untold stories, and includes artefacts from the People’s History Museum archive, and a newly commissioned audiovisual project by artist and film-maker Esther Johnson, and film-maker and writer Debbie Ballin.
In December 1984, during the Miners’ Strike, the Thatcher government paid pensioners the same £10 Christmas heating bonus they had received since 1972. A nationwide appeal, in several national newspapers, invited pensioners to give up their bonus in support of the striking miners. Hundreds of pounds worth of bonuses were donated to support this cause.
Suitable for all ages
This exhibition is part of a wider research project titled Echoes of Protest, investigating the legacy of being involved in significant protest movements from a child’s perspective. The project aims to understand the role protest can play in the lives of children, and to explore its aftermath.
Further information on the project can be found at:
This project is supported by the Art and Design Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University and People’s History Museum.
Esther Johnson (MA Royal College of Art, London) is a British artist and film-maker working with moving image, audio and photography in order to unearth extraordinary, resonant stories that may otherwise remain hidden or ignored. Her documentary portraits focus on marginal worlds and have been exhibited internationally in over 40 countries including BFI London Film Festival; ICA, London; International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam; Istanbul Biennial; Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, Germany; NASA, California; Tate Britain and Tate Modern, London; and on Channel 4 and BBC television; and ABC Australia; BBC; RTÉ and Phonic radio. She has written for several arts publications, is an independent film/video curator, and is Reader in Media Arts within the Art and Design Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, UK. Johnson was awarded the UK Philip Leverhulme Prize in Performing and Visual Arts for young scholars from 2012-2015.
Debbie Ballin is a film-maker and writer. She has made work commissioned by The UK Film Council, ITV, Channel 4 and the BBC. Her work has been BAFTA nominated and exhibited nationally and internationally at film festivals and broadcast on Canadian and Spanish Television. She is a senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University and a member of the Art and Design Research Centre. She is currently studying an MA in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University.
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