Beyond the Western Front has been lucky enough to secure Bob Beagrie and Andy Willoughby to run a series of three creative research workshops with our partner the Literary and Philosophical Society.
The first workshop completed last month focused on the questions you ask when carrying out research. There are some questions that might never be answered due to the availability of resources to consult but once you can identify a source for answers you can potentially ask further questions of the subject as each new piece of information opens it up further.
The workshop opened with a close up segment of a photograph that had to be interrogated and objectively described. Just looking at what is visible can reveal assumptions made about the bigger context. When the whole picture was given out as well as some details regarding the context, a fuller more nuanced information and description was gained and used to make creative leaps from.
Time was spent reading sources around the public and private dialogue of the First World War, especially the writings from T. E. Lawrence and his activities with his men in the African desert. In vivid details what was understood was his personal journals documented the reality of war in opposition to propagating the ideology of war.
Each participate was left to carry out further research in their own time around certain elements of the contribution/ involvement of ethnic minorities to the war and the North East region such as
* Ethnic populations on the Tyne running up to World War 1
* Key jobs open to ethnic workers 1900 – 1914
* Music Halls in Newcastle (buildings and exotics acts 1900 – 1914)
* Regiments from the British Empire active in World War 1
The second workshop happens tonight and again it is full.