Walks along Hadrian’s Wall will examine the history of migration to the North of Tyne and its social and cultural legacy.
Future Pasts is a participatory art project examining the complexities of migration and the sense of belonging through the lens provided by the living legacy of Hadrian’s Wall. The project for the Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival by Dr Henna Asikainen and Professor Ruth McAreavey, sociology, Newcastle University, is produced in partnership with D6 Culture and supported by CPRE Northumberland, National Trust, Northumberland National Park and various organisation working with the region’s refugee community.
Henna said: “The Hadrian’s Wall 1900th Anniversary Festival provides a unique framework to examine the legacy of Hadrian’s Wall through a collaborative art project that involves the participation of members of the migrant population living in the North East of England. The Wall serves as a poignant reminder of the long history of migration into these islands. The construction and operation of the Wall brought with it large numbers of people from many different parts of the Roman empire and they, in turn, brought with them their cultures, their beliefs and their food.”
The Romans are said to be responsible for a wide array of introductions including, for example, the carrot, celery and the sycamore, the rabbit and the pheasant. All of these are now common elements of the landscape through which the Wall leads.
“In many ways, they could be said to be a far more significant inheritance than the archaeological remains of forts and walls,” Henna said. “These changes that Hadrian’s Wall brought in its wake are now invisibly woven into our everyday lives and landscape. By examining this legacy of the Wall the project will explore our ideas of belonging and feeling at home and notions of national identity. Hadrian’s Wall serves a powerful reminder of just how much this identity is shaped by our historical multiculturality.”
Future Pasts consists of a number of walks taking place in the environment of Hadrian’s Wall. To learn more, visit www.hennaasikainen.com or the Hadrian’s Wall 1900 website Home – Hadrian’s Wall 1900 (hadrianswallcountry.co.uk)