The day has come, the day of the official launch!! On the 6th of October team New Focus officially launched our ‘No Mans Land’ publication!! It was such an incredible experience and a great summary to the journey we have been on for the past year and a half as a team!! From the early stages of creating our funding video where the idea of a publication came about, to then actually presenting this amazing piece of design and information to the public was a great achievement for all of us!! We are all very proud of the work and effort that has gone into this project, so being able to officially launch it was amazing for all of us!!
The launch event began with each New Focus member receiving a certificate for their achievement through this project which was presented by Alison Fell who is a professor at the University of Leeds of French cultural history, and the project leader of ‘legacies of war’. Then Anne McNeill the director of the Gallery officially launched our publication!! It was amazing and felt very emotional for us all as the publication includes a part of us all.
As a team we had decided to talk a bit about the project so 3 members of the group, Emily, Asiya and Ione all spoke about different elements and expanded on the journey we have been on together. It was really lovely for us to speak about our personal experiences through this project with New Focus member Ione commenting that “New focus has given her a ‘new focus’, and to her, new focus is a family”. This was quite nostalgic as it brought back memories for the team but also gave an idea of the different journeys we had undertaken to produce this contextual publication.
The launch was brilliant and the response we got from the audience was amazing!! We are all super proud and chuffed that our adventure of creating an unconventional and artistic twist to a history book has had such a big appeal and impact on people, especially our target demographic of 14 years and above. We are all really excited to share our publication with the public. We are going to do this through distributing it to libraries, to all high schools within Bradford and by doing workshops and activities with school children to spread the awareness of the publication but especially the information it contains. We loved how busy the event was, and it was super amazing that Hilary Roberts, who is the curator at the Imperial War Museum came all the way from London for the launch too!!
We are all super happy with how the publication has turned out, but this could have never been possible without the full team at the Impressions Gallery!! We would like to give them a huge thank you for their support and giving us such an amazing opportunity to express our voice and be part of this project. We would also like to thank the heritage lottery fund; as without them this project wouldn’t have excelled, the Peace Museum; who let us explore through their archive, the Liddle Collection which is part of the University of Leeds; the place where we discovered Mary Porter, or ‘fluffy’ as she liked to be called. We would also like to thank the Imperial War Museum, Andy Edwards the publication designer and lastly Evolution Print for doing such an amazing job with printing our publication!! This project wouldn’t have been as successful as it has if it wasn’t for these contributors!!
This project is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Young Roots’ scheme