SCUNTHORPE TREASURE HUNT

2016 / A search for National Treasure's against the declining steel industry in Scunthorpe / New Talent Residency with The Pervasive Media Studio @ The Watershed / with kind contribution from local people in Scunthorpe / Showcased at THE WATERSHED

 
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Scunthorpe used to be almost unsearchable on the internet due to having everyone’s favourite swear word in between the letters S and H. It now stands against the backdrop of a fading steel industry that serves as a potential threat to the town's cultural heritage. In the 19th century, Japan faced a similar threat to its culture. Westernisation and Industrialisation threatened tradition; Local institutions lost money, architecture began to crumble and items rich in historical and artistic value were exported. To reclaim a sense of self, Japanese officials got together and invented the notion of ‘National Treasures’ - artifacts, buildings, artworks and skilled persons seen as essential to the preservation of the culture. During my residency at The Watershed, I talked about this concept with local people in Scunthorpe; my aim being that they could then identify the town's unofficial National Treasures against the decline of its iconic industry...