Twenty young people from the New Focus group at the Impressions Galley of Photography have been empowered to access archives for the first time, visiting the Peace Museum, the University of Leeds and the Imperial War Museum.
Using collections of female photographers such as Mary ‘Fluffy’ Porter, Olive Edis and Mairi Chisholm, they were surprised to discover more than just war but the opportunities available to women, movements with strong female involvement such as the Peace Pledge union and the Second International Congress of Women as well as their sense of identity.
An engaging, interactive publication has captured these stories; the young people were keen to ensure it would reach out to others who may previously have felt disengaged from heritage. An exhibition and series of creative sessions have given the young people the opportunity to share their new found understanding of the First World War.
A New Focus group member, said: “We wanted to show the real everyday lives of women during the First World War, and that they had enjoyable but also tough and heart-breaking experiences.”