1000 years ago, Great Yarmouth was no more than a 7-mile sandbank at the mouth of a large estuary. Today it is home to circa 100,000 people, all of whom are either descended from migrants or are migrants themselves. ‘Island’ is a community-driven visual arts project, led by local artists Kevin Hunn and Charlotte Dickens, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will uncover, and celebrate, Yarmouth’s long and rich migration history, a much-neglected aspect of this town’s diverse social and cultural heritage.
• Develop our understanding of Great Yarmouth’s migration heritage through documentary research conducted by citizen researchers.
• Provide opportunities for project participants and volunteers to learn actively about Great Yarmouth’s migration heritage and to share their skills, knowledge and experiences over the life of the project, and beyond.
• Provide alternative ways of engaging with Great Yarmouth’s migration heritage. In order to engage and involve a wider audience, the research will be the starting point for creative practice.
• To develop a sense of pride in the long and diverse migration histories of Great Yarmouth, both past and present.
• To develop an enhanced understanding of modern-day migration to the town, and to encourage changes in negative attitudes or behaviours to migrants.
• To support tolerance and social cohesion by building positive images and new connections among people of different backgrounds.
• Enhance the network (ENJOY) of local partners from a range of sectors – education (New Routes, Old Routes, Anglia Ruskin University) and local schools, arts development (SeaChange), third parties (Gyros), heritage sector (Historic England), and museums (Time and Tide) – that can support future local migration-oriented projects.
• Leave a legacy. The project will provide new interpretation and explanation of Great Yarmouth’s diverse migration heritage. It will have fostered a body of citizen researchers, of mixed ages and backgrounds, who will be able to offer support and advice on similar future projects. It will also record the migration heritage of Great Yarmouth for present and future generations through the publication of research findings, stories (in the form of an E-book), images, and videos on the project website: https://newroutesoldroots.com.
We will be posting updates on this exciting and important project as they happen. If you would like to know more about the project, please email: Jeannette.Baxter@anglia.ac.uk