Our Journeys Our Stories

A photograph taken during the Our Journeys Our Stories workshops

A photograph taken during the Our Journeys Our Stories workshops

Past display archive 
29 April - 10 June 2005

Education Studio

In partnership with Haringey Educational Services

Supported by The Rayne Foundation

From April 2004 to September 2004, over fifty parents, carers and staff from six Haringey primary schools took part in a Photography project at the National Portrait Gallery. The project was led by two professional photographers, Gisela Torres and Elizabeth Doak.

This project evolved from previous work that schools in Haringey had undertaken with the gallery. Family groups were inspired by two very different exhibitions at the Gallery. The first exhibition We Are the People by Tom Philips, used postcards to capture images of everyday life in Britain during the twentieth century.

Postcard snapshots gave the group an awareness of the impact of using photography to collect life stories of ordinary people. The second exhibition Off the Beaten Track: Three Centuries of Women Travellers, inspired the groups to portray elements of their journeys, including those who had been forced to flee from their country in order to seek sanctuary in the UK.

Back in school most, but not all, of the family groups shared accounts of their journeys. They talked about reasons for travelling and the special objects and the clothes that were packed. They recalled their feelings as they left. The groups returned to the Gallery for the photography workshops. They took on the role of professional photographers, preparing their cameras and lighting, and setting up poses for the portraits.

This project allowed the participants to remember, relive and tell their stories to new groups of adults. The stories were all different, moving and yet uplifting.

- We are the People
- Off the Beaten Track - Three Centuries of Women Travellers

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