September –
October 2016

Inspired by the 950th
anniversary of the
Battle of Hastings
1st August 2016

Blog Post #6: Inspiring Young People

The 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings has a strong inspirational capacity. Re-enactments, guided walks and ROOT 1066 itself are direct descendants of 1066. And we want to inspire today's young people – to encourage creative engagement with a shared past.

Two ROOT 1066 projects prioritise these themes.

The first, Mightier Than The Sword, has involved primary schools around Hastings and Rother.

Poet Steve Tasane used the Battle of Hastings as a vehicle to teach about various poetic forms – culminating in a live poetry event at the Source Park (listen to some of the performances here). Artist Lee Shearman provided workshops, involving many local primary schools. They collaborated to create a Bayeux Tapestry-inspired pop-up book. The completed work is on exhibition now, also at the Source Park.

The second, Harold’s Grave: His Weight in Gold, has developed into a project that engages young people.

One of the stories surrounding the Battle comes from King Harold’s ‘burial’. William apparently refused to grant Harold a proper religious burial – so Harold’s mother offered to exchange the weight of his body with gold. But William wouldn’t waver, and the body was buried beneath a cairn of stones before its removal to Waltham Abbey.

Artist Alice Schÿler Mallet is to recreate this pagan burial at Pevensey Castle – a performance installation.

Stones are being painted gold in homage to the story. Before the summer holidays began, many primary schools programmed pebble-painting activities for their pupils. These stones will be used for the installation, and they depict how creative practise can act as immersion into history.

Ironically enough, one of history’s most famous battles now serves as a unifying force for communities and education within 1066 Country.

On August 29th, Alice Schÿler Mallet will be at the Stade, painting stones gold with Festival volunteers and anyone else who wants to join in.

Image: taken at Guestling Bradshaw CE Primary School. Used with permission.