“I was born poor, and I will die poor”: Reflections on disability, ill health and poverty in the age of Universal Credit

This Disability History Month, Silvie Fisch, director of Northern Cultural Projects and associate researcher with the Oral History Unit & Collective, shares some of the stories she heard during our Foodbank Histories project and reflects on the interconnections between disability, ill health and poverty in the age of Universal Credit.

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Foodbank Histories meets the United Nations

When the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Extreme Poverty visited the Newcastle West End Foodbank in Wednesday, the Oral History Collective was invited along to share some of the research findings from our six-month Foodbank Histories project, a partnership with Northern Cultural Projects. This work is also part of the Being Human festival, 15-24 Nov. So why is it important?

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Ben Houston’s on his oral history and photograhic exhibition:

Ben Houston, a member of the the Newcastle University Oral History Collective has a new exhibition opening at the Great North Museum on 7th October. The exhibition depicts elements of race relations and the civil rights struggle in Pittsburgh, USA, by combining the oral histories of black Pittsburghers (recorded by the Remembering African American Pittsburgh oral history project at Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy) with historic photos from the world-class Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive held by the Carnegie Museum of Art.

We also feature Ben in the first of a number of occasional podcasts from Newcastle’s Oral History Collective.  Listen at: The Lug Podcast #1. You can also listen to an extract of one of the interviews from the exhibition. Here Sala Udin offers an overview of the key themes of the exhibition.

By using Pittsburgh as a case-study, this exhibition embodies one of the central messages of Dr Martin Luther King’s speech: that racism looms over our world and yet the thirst for freedom and dignity remains unquenchable.

The exhibition runs in parallel with the “Teenie Harris Photographs: In Their Own Voice” exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh which takes place from 29 July 2017 – 28 February 2018.

Poster Image: Charles “Teenie” Harris
American, 1908–1998
Elderly woman holding Pittsburgh Courier newspaper with headline reading “Reverend King Freed: Albany Tense” seated in armchair, July 1962
Black and white: Kodak Safety Film
H: 5 in. x W: 4 in. (12.70 x 10.20 cm)
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh: Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.7018 © Carnegie Museum of Art, Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive