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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Manningham Mills are Alive illumination show starts tonight

A new large-scale projection show is set to illuminate the iconic Italianate chimney of Lister Mills in Manningham tonight.

A new large-scale projection show is set to illuminate the iconic Italianate chimney of Lister Mills in Manningham tonight, bringing to life the stories of the people who have called the industrial heritage area home for more than a century, with music, audio recordings, photographs and moving image.

The Mills are Alive in Manningham will be a free public show taking place over three nights between Thursday, 3 March and Sunday, 5 March. It is the culmination of over a year-long research and development project led by Bradford-based international arts company, The Brick Box, to capture memories of the diverse communities that have lived and worked in Manningham and Bradford from before the industrial revolution through to the present day.

Children from Lilycroft Primary School have recently learned about Lister Mills. mage: Karol Wyzsinski

Over the last few months, The Brick Box team have been working alongside local community members and creative groups to gather stories from a wide range of people from Manninghams’s vibrant multicultural communities including British, Pakistani, Indian, and other Eastern European heritage, to find out their hopes for its future.

Rosie Freeman, Director of The Brick Box CIC said: “Storytelling is an essential part of how we understand ourselves and the world, and this project uses storytelling to better connect people and place.

With The Mills are Alive in Manningham, we’re bringing together the fascinating heritage of this iconic building and place, with people’s ideas and dreams for the future. This is a truly unique artwork that shows off the creativity of local residents and organisations.

It’s a privilege to be making this project with and for our local community, learning about our histories and manifesting the future.”

The projections – which are being created in partnership with The Projection Studio will explore and celebrate the past, present and future of the city, beginning with the pre-industrialised West Yorkshire hills, moving through to the Victorian era when Lister’s Mill was at the beating heart of the global textile industry.

Mrs Shabana Mahmood, Year 6 Teacher Lilycroft Primary School: “The children thoroughly enjoyed the Lister Mill art project as it gave them the opportunity to harness their art skills and learn more about their local heritage. It has also developed the children’s sense of historical curiosity about their local area. The ability to collaborate on this fantastic project with the pupils from Lilycroft Nursery has increased the children’s confidence and sense of achievement.”

The show will shine a light on major moments in the town’s history including the Manningham Mills Strike of 1890; the birth of the Independent Labour Party; the creation of major multi-cultural arts events including the Bradford Festival and Bradford Mela which attracted audiences of more than 200,000 in its heyday and the founding of Manningham Mills Ladies Football Team in 1921 – one of the first competitive women’s teams in the country.

The projections will also include photographs from a special collaboration between Bradford theatre company and mill residents, Mind The Gap, and local photographer Nudrat Afza, exploring the lives and experiences of families in Manningham with family members who have learning disabilities.

Ward Councillors Cllr Arshad Hussain, Cllr Kamran Hussain, and Cllr Fozia Shaheen, said: “We are so proud of our area’s rich and pioneering heritage and the incredibly diverse community who call it home today. This striking artwork will help bring those stories to life and will turn a much-loved Bradford landmark into a beacon of light and hope that can be enjoyed from all around the district.

“The beautiful Lister Mills chimney may be the pride of Manningham, but it can be seen from all over Bradford, and is a reminder that wherever we are from, we all share the same sky. That is the spirit of this exciting project, and perfectly chimes with Bradford’s bid to be the next UK City of Culture.”

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