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Being human

Exhibition on lost connections between Tyneside and the Caribbean

Published on: 6 November 2017

An exhibition and event series will be hosted by Newcastle University this month as part of Being Human 2017, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities.

‘Paths Across Waters: lost stories of Tyneside and the Caribbean’ is an interactive exhibition that charts the lost connections between Tyneside and the Caribbean through artworks, images, sounds and events.

The exhibition will be staged at the Old Low Light Heritage Centre, the Fish Quay, North Shields from Thursday 9 November to Saturday 25 November, 10am to 5pm. It aims to raise awareness of Tyneside’s international heritage and ask questions about the memories, objects and understanding of this history in the North East; free of charge between 17-25 November, as part of ‘Being Human’, a £2 entry fee will be in operation at other times.

Recounting history

Included in the exhibition are: an oral history booth and live soundscape designed by Professor John Bowers of Newcastle University; a film piece by artists James Davoll and Paul Gibson that will change according to the speed of the wind; images from the Imperial War Museum and the National Archives as well as oral histories from Beamish Museum.

The event series includes a workshop on Caribbean cuisines “Caribbean food journeys” led by Peggy Brunache from the University of Dundee (Thursday 23 November 4pm); a talk on the research and work behind the exhibition “Caribbean-Geordie journeys” by co-curator Vanessa Mongey (Saturday 25 November 11am); and a performance of Garifuna music “Caribbean sound journeys” by Lindel Solis Zenon, a musician from Nicaragua.

Like the exhibition, all events are free of charge and open to the public. Reservations can be made by calling 0191 257 4506.

Dr Vanessa Mongey, lead for the project at Newcastle University, said: “The Caribbean has historically given the world so many wonderful artists, musicians, writers, activists, and scholars. Seas and oceans were like highways bringing different regions and peoples of the world together and it is very exciting to uncover these paths between the Caribbean and our region.

“The Northeast is a maritime region and we sometimes forget this heritage. With this exhibit, we want to remind people that we are all threads attached to and woven onto each other. And as we share a past, with the rest of the world, we also share a present, and hopefully, a future as well.”

Dr Mongey is hoping that people will visit the exhibit, participate in the events, or contact her to share their stories for a more extensive research project on the multicultural history of the North East.

Other 'Being Human' events

Paths Across Waters was selected to be part of Being Human by the festival organisers, the School of Advanced Study, University of London, the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the British Academy (BA). It also received support from Newcastle University.

Other events under the ‘Being Human’ Festival banner, linked to Newcastle University, are also being run at Carliol House, Newcastle from 23 to 25 November under the title Sparks of Life: Frankenstein and Regeneration.

For information about all of the Newcastle linked events visit:


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