Last year, the School of Humanities secured £2,000 funding from the Being Human Festival to carry out research into the smells of Black Country, and applied for further funding to support the events entitled ‘The Black Country Unscene’.
The School of Humanities will showcase their research through five events throughout November 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.
“Participants will listen to soundscapes, engage in linguistic landscaping and undertake creative exercises. The materials gathered by the public will be turned into an art work to be unveiled at the Wolverhampton Literature Festival 2020. We are very happy to be working with cultural partners including Black Country Living Museum, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Bantock House, various libraries in the West Midlands and the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.”
Other events include The Dementia Dialogues, a life-writing workshop uncovering the unrecognised narratives of carers for family members with dementia; The Secret Lives of the Suffragettes is a family-friendly, interactive workshop that explores what it’s like to be a suffragette on the run; Warhol in Wolverhampton gives 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 is 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). The national programme of events was launched on Tuesday 1st October 2019.