The University of Wolverhampton has secured funding to uncover the hidden secrets of the Black Country.
Last year, the School of Humanities secured funding from the Being Human Festival to carry out research into the smells of Black Country, and applied for further funding to support a series of events entitled ‘The Black Country Unscene’.
Being Human has awarded the University £2,000. The School of Humanities will showcase their research through five events structured around performances, exhibitions, screenings, workshops and a multi-sensory, augmented walk exploring culture which is forgotten, neglected or rejected.
The headline event, The Black Country Unscene, is a multisensory walk across the Black Country with interventions by poets and actors, involving all of the senses. People will be able to smell, taste, touch, listen to and see the Black Country’s hidden gems.
Sebastian Groes, Professor in English Literature at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “Unscene will give a voice to untold stories and uncover unseen art. The Black Country is truly a place worth knowing.
“Augmented Reality technology will bring the region’s literary past to life and the event will be live streamed. Participants will listen to soundscapes, engage in linguistic landscaping and undertake creative exercises. We are very happy to be working with cultural partners including Black Country Living Museum, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Bantock House, the Newhampton Arts Centre and the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.”
Other events will include The Dementia Dialogues, a life-writing workshop uncovering the unrecognised narratives of carers and their patients; The Secret Lives of the Suffragettes, a family-friendly, interactive workshop that explores what it’s like to be a suffragette on the run; Warhol in Wolverhampton giving the general public an opportunity to delve into the Pop Art holdings at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery and do hands-on research into the 60s and Overlooked Overlockers – a workshop where the former factory workforce and the public share stories of their textiles experiences by using remnants of materials to re-create memories.
Being Human is supported by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the British Academy (BA), and the School of Advanced Study, University of London (SAS).