Normandy Day UK (Peace Through Unity) is about young people and veterans working together to celebrate peace and remember the sacrifices made by ‘the few’ to attain that peace.
We aim to create art that will pay tribute to the fallen and spread the message of peace.
We hope to foster and build inter-generational and inter-cultural relationships through the process and create an individual and unique experience for everyone involved.
This project has been a long time in the making and a number of schools have taken part. I went with the jam-av team to two different schools in Coventry where the students had visits from war veterans who came to answer questions and share their stories with them. The young people then worked with creative artists and practitioners to produce something expressing their thoughts and ideas on war and peace based; the activities I was involved in were filmmaking at Barrs Hill and poetry at Cardinal Wiseman (which I documented; I wasn’t there for my poetry skills!)
I was glad even just to have a small involvement in such a worthwhile and fascinating project, it really was moving to hear the veterans’ stories and gratifying to see the level of respect and interest from the young participants. Here is the final film (compiled from many hours of footage so I’m told!)
If you want to see this on a bigger screen and meet other people involved/interested in the project, there will be small screenings of the film in the pop up shop in West Orchards, Smithford Way, Coventry on Saturday 30th August at 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm – pop in to book your place. The shop also has information about related events in September that will bring the project to a close.