Mobile Memories, Lost Communities: The Kirkdale/Vauxhall Palimpsest

Liverpool has suffered many blows to its physical and psychological landscape through war, large-scale demolition programmes and redevelopment in distant and recent past. The scars of these mass clearance programmes have been washed away as the city has regenerated, altering the look and feel of neighbourhoods in their entirety, moving communities en-masse to new parts of the city.

Mobile Memories, Lost Communities was led by Laura Yates, Community Programmer at FACT in Liverpool, between June and September 2013. Working in collaboration with Rotunda College, an adult learning facility in Vauxhall, Liverpool and in partnership with a number of grass-roots housing and charity organisations based in the North Liverpool area, Mobile Memories, Lost Communities researched stories of immigration into North Liverpool, local histories of these communities, and present-day lost or hidden communities. My contribution brought in the history of the Basque and Spanish residents of Vauxhall and Kirkdale.

With funding from Heritage Lottery Fund All Our Stories, FACT commissioned a special audio work from sound artist Will Schrimshaw. Will has woven together The Kirkdale/Vauxhall Palimpsest, a virtual audio tour of the history of these neighbourhoods told through memories and oral histories donated to the project. They map the places and spaces now changed upon all recognition of now past incarnations and give a glimpse of what was once whilst questioning the sensation of memory and how it changes as time passes.

Listen to the audio track: 

Visit the FLICKR photostream to see images from the project in process.

The audio installation was open to the public in FACT from 11 Oct – 3 Nov 2013 and is now a permanent installation in the New Heritage Centre at The Rotunda.

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