Raiders of the Lost Archives: Developing our future by working on our past
Carlos Marfil, one of FACT's volunteers helping out on our Freehand Film Archive project, gives us an insight into how the project is progressing so far...
2 June 2014
Have you ever been inspired by an old picture of your ancestors? Have you ever been interested on the story behind your favourite place in your city? How it has changed through time?
Those questions are a small part of the process of finding unique and hidden stories through the rich archives of the UK. Some of them will remain secret forever, but most of them will be discovered and researched by amazing people who understands the importance of those bits of history that conforms our present.
In this case FACT and Freehand (our Young People's programme) are going to the next level by organising an innovative workshop for youngsters where they are learning how to explore the media from the past, and more importantly, how to transform it into a new piece of art that brings it back to life.
The workshop is possible thanks to the invaluable experience of the filmmaker Sima Gonsai, who is using the same techniques she uses to create her films, guides the group of young artists through the different processes of creating an audiovisual project – teaching them the universal rules of storytelling, so they will be able to rearrange their pieces, working on them from a more experimental and creative approach.
Being encouraged to play, to destroy the fixed concepts and use them on behalf of your art piece, is a great thing when you are young and starting to develop yourself as an artist. In my case, working with this group as a volunteer, this has been the most rewarding and eye-opening experience.
This group of young people have the last session of the workshop still to go, where they will finally use professional equipment to film the footage they have scheduled and prepared with lots of hard work, and put in practice all the training they have received... Exciting, isn't it?
I won't spoil it much, but the three pieces in progress are going to be a wonderful example of future generations of artists working with the past of their city – trying to bring it back to us for just two minutes! Stay tuned!
If you would like to know more about Freehand, FACT's young people's programme or the Freehand Film Archive project, please contact