Author: Nathan Akrill

An exciting processional festival shedding light on ancient English celebrations will take place in March 2011, inspired by the cultural heritage of the Jurassic Coast. On the night of 26 March when the clocks go forward, Poole quay will be transformed from 6.30pm by a spectacular contemporary procession created by local Bournemouth & Poole schools as well as light installations and family fun activities along the quay. From January onwards schools in Bournemouth & Poole will be working with archive material at the Dorset History Centre and Poole Museum to uncover stories and celebrations of the past. Working with professional artists the young people will then interpret their discoveries to create a beautiful, enchanting and exciting procession taking place along Poole quay. As part of the evenings entertainment local community groups will also work with artists to create light installations along the quay and streets of Poole. The evening will celebrate ancient celebrations along the Jurassic Coast with a contemporary twist.

This project is running as a pilot in 2011 with ambitions (depending on funding) to create a long term project running over two years. The larger project would see events taking place across the sub-region (in Bournemouth, Poole and Purbeck) in March 2012 with further work with young people and communities with archival material as well as intergenerational and oral history work. The two year project would also see an associated exhibition and book documenting the history of processions/celebrations along the Jurassic Coast with information about the contemporary processions developed through this project. The long term project would also feed into the Olympics in 2012.

The pilot has been generously funded by the Bournemouth & Poole Cultural Hub and Creative Coast.

Amy Eastwood, Processions Co-ordinator

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