The Armed Forces Community Covenant is a pledge between locally based Armed Services and the local authority, to do more to work together and to support Armed Service personnel (active and retired) and their families. Serving in the Forces requires a particular level of discipline and sacrifice both on the front line and at home. It can be hard to appreciate just how demanding and challenging this can be, from the outside.
Our project, ‘Far From Home’ looked to explore these experiences and to allow students to try and articulate them through their chosen medium such as photography, creative writing, illustration, design, etc. Students, like Armed Services personnel, will know how it feels to be far from home, or starting a new chapter of their lives in a new place. Although the context is very different, perhaps the feelings are more similar than we might think?
Students had the opportunity to get to know either active or retired service personnel or their families, to hear their stories first hand and then decide how they want to interpret what they’ve seen and heard. Participants, in return, were invited to come to CCi of the University of Portsmouth and to take part in a taster workshop, which students were involved in with the planning/leading. This was to help the participants see what the students are involved in – a chance to make it a two-way learning experience.
The work produced was shown in a special exhibition in March 2014 in Space in the new Eldon Wing of the University of Portsmouth, with a special opening event & everyone who had taken part in the project invited.
This project is funded by the MOD Community Covenant. The exhibition was made possible by the kind support of the University of Portsmouth and Space Gallery, with funding from Arts Council England through the Fusion Lab project.