Ahead of the ‘Laughs and Landscapes’ exhibition opening at New Lanark on 31 March, we were delighted to welcome Mark Melville from Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire to write a guest blog to introduce the project…
“They say time flies when you’re having fun and this might explain were the last two years have gone on the Laughs and Landscapes heritage media project.
The project set out nearly two years ago to engage unemployed young people with their local heritage by using the creative industries and development of media skills as a tool for this, we had volunteers participating in all kinds of creative workshops and doing everything from going on photography expeditions, making documentary films of local heritage locations and delivering a fantastic digital transfer service in the community offering to transfer community cine-films and old 35mm photographic slides to digital formats.
The work that was done all formed part of our Laughs and Landscapes touring exhibition showcasing the volunteer’s hard work and achievements.
The laughs and landscapes project really has been an education for the young people involved, getting the opportunity to shadow and learn from media industry practitioners and participating on projects that covered the stories of places like New Lanark, David Livingston, the Coal-burn miners and even a World War 1 battalion from Lanark and Carluke to name a few of the historical projects.
In terms of successes along the way there has been some great ones! a Local MSP put forward a motion in the Scottish Parliament for our Laughs and Landscapes project which was backed by several more MSP’s, we showcased an excellent project documentary film at the South Lanarkshire Youth Film Festival last year, we digitized and enhanced long lost 100 year old glass slides found in an attic that documented a world war 1 battalion from Lanark and Carluke and last but not least many of our participants have gone on to develop new found confidence and aptitude’s and found work and college opportunities thanks to the experiences they have gained on the project and work portfolios.
The touring Exhibitions have been well received as well with fantastic comments being left in the book from far flung places such as China, Palestine and Australia.
All in all I feel the project has been a brilliant success having seen first-hand how it has built confidence and created positive changes in the young people involved in the project, it has allowed them to celebrate and showcase their talents and successes and in turn they have developed a wealth of knowledge with regards to local history and learned about things they would never have thought about researching beforehand.
The next Laughs and Landscapes project exhibition is at New Lanark starting on 31 March 2015 – So why not come along and see for yourself the great work being done.”
Mark Melville, Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire – Guest Blogger
Entry to the exhibition is free, and runs until Monday 27th April 2015 in the New Lanark River Room.