Strike Stories – Films
The Open Archive Project (September 2007-August 2008), investigated how the BBC might use its archive holdings of the 1984/5 miners’ strike via an ‘Open Archive’. Designed to understand the relationships that audiences might have with the archive, the project examined historical representations and how the BBC could digitally facilitate audiences’ ability to interact with, comment on, and contextualise the materials.
Participants included former miners, retired police officers, women’s groups, local history groups and political activists, who were tasked with responding to the content of the BBC archive, re-examining the coverage and challenging the ‘official’ version of events.
The wish to translate these findings into something tangible formed the basis of a subsequent project, Fusion (February 2009- June 2009), also funded by the AHRC/BBC Knowledge Exchange Partnership. The research explored how communities might take ownership of cultural and historical materials in which they are represented, and how they could use archival sources to give voice to their own stories and construct their own histories. This resulted in the joint creation of a series of films, under the title Strike Stories that told participants’ own stories and offered new perspectives on the strike.