• 14 May 2013 - 16 June 2013

2013 marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. FACT and our Veterans in Practice group are taking part in the National commemorative events with a range of projects. FACT’s engagement team has been working with its Veterans in Practice digital arts group and Liverpool schoolchildren to create a series of projects that will be exhibited as part of the city’s Battle of the Atlantic 70th anniversary commemorations.

VIP has been working on a documentary with a group of veterans awarded the Atlantic Star for their role in World War II, and have also photographed a series of portraits of the men.

The only group of its kind in Europe, VIP engages military veterans of all ages in digital arts projects. Since its inception it has staged photography exhibitions, members have made animated films and their own newspaper, and currently run a free film club. 

In addition, pupils from Holy Cross Primary School will be meeting and interviewing Atlantic Star veterans, and their stories will become the basis for a short animated film that will be screened over the anniversary weekend activities in Liverpool, from May 24 to 27.

The results will be seen at FACT and at the Merseyside Maritime Museum in a special exhibition space from 14 May until 16 June, and will also be able to be viewed online.

 

An exclusive soundscape, made from voice recordings of the Atlantic Star veterans, will be heard over the tannoys of two battleships that will be moored in the Mersey for the duration of the anniversary event - HMS Edinburgh and a Canadian Navy vessel - telling the stories of the soldiers who took part in the Battle of the Atlantic.

The photographic portraits of Atlantic Star veterans will be able to be seen throughout the FACT building from 26 May – 6 June. VIP’s First Tuesday Film Club will also be hosting a screening of classic war film The Cruel Sea on 28 May for just 25p – the price a cinema ticket would have cost in 1953 when it was released. 

The Star Gazing programme has been commissioned by Liverpool City Council as part of the 70th Commemoration of Battle of the Atlantic

Installation by Arciform

FACT's Schools and Learning Programme has teamed up with year 4 and 5 students from Holy Cross Catholic Primary School to capture some of the stories of two Atlantic Star Veterans.

The school were excited for the children to have this rare opportunity to hear these experiences and accounts first hand. To develop a deeper understanding of the topic, pupils have the opportunity to use their creativity to re-tell the stories through animation.

The children had been studying World War Two but had until now had mainly focused on things like the Homefront, evacuees and rationing. So, we started by researching the events of the Battle of The Atlantic with a trip to Liverpool War Museum. We took along with us plenty of paper, pastels and crayons and made notes and sketched things that interested us - these may come in useful for animating later on! 

 

Next on the schedule was workshop with Ambrose and Liz from Urban Strawberry Lunch. Ambrose and Liz worked with the children to think further about what it might have been like for our veterans. They spend the afternoon preparing for the veterans visit the following week by focusing on interview techniques and designing some questions.

All prepared the children were very excited to meet the veterans in the next session, and Jack and John were just as excited to meet them! They told us some fascinating stories and the children asked their questions, always thinking about how they were going to retell the stories in their animations.

Now, over the next couple of weeks we are very excited to get work with artist Anne Wilkins on the animations inspired by Jack and John's experiences.

The Star Gazing programme has been commissioned by Liverpool City Council as part of the 70th Commemoration of Battle of the Atlantic

The Veterans in Practice group and photographer Stephen King have been taking portraits of the Atlantic Star veterans. The photos, which evoke the style of photographer Chambre Hardman will be on display at FACT and at the Maritime Museum alongside archive material from 26 May - 6 June. 

A selection of the Star Men photographs can be seen on the right hand side of this page.

The Star Gazing programme has been commissioned by Liverpool City Council as part of the 70th Commemoration of Battle of the Atlantic

Members of the VIP group have been interviewing a number of the Atlantic Star Veterans on their experiences and stories from their time in service. The documentary follows the groups journey as they travel around the North West interviewing a selection of the veterans.

On the Veterans in Practice blog, members of the group have written about their experiences being involved with the documentary and how they felt meeting The Atlantic Star veterans

 

The Star Gazing programme has been commissioned by Liverpool City Council as part of the 70th Commemoration of Battle of the Atlantic

As part of the Commemorative Events taking place across the city, an exclusive soundscape, made from voice recordings of the Atlantic Star veterans, will be heard over the tannoys of two battleships that will be moored in the Mersey for the duration of the anniversary event - HMS Edinburgh and a Canadian Navy vessel - telling the stories of the soldiers who took part in the Battle of the Atlantic.

The Star Gazing programme has been commissioned by Liverpool City Council as part of the 70th Commemoration of Battle of the Atlantic

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