In Someone Else’s Shoes

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Bristol and Hannover were the first English and German cities to be twinned soon after the Second World War. In 1947, Germany was still recovering from the war and, following a bitter winter, children from Bristol sent shoes to the poverty stricken children of Hannover. Having no money, Hannover ‘paid’ for the shoes with music.

Logo by Bristol artist, Carmen Garaghon

Building on the original Musik for Shoes of 1947, we have secured funding from Arts Council for England to work with Bristol Hannover Council and students from Bristol and Hannover secondary schools, sharing music and swapping shoes. The In Someone Else’s Shoes project will culminate with a final celebratory performance at Colston Hall on December 12th 2017.

Through a small grant from Historic England’s Heritage Schools programme we have already brought Bristol Exchange alumni and current Fairfield Secondary School students together to share memories and accounts of the friendship between the two cities. The students will use these stories to inform the designs of their upcycled shoes, kindly donated by Bristol Textile Recyclers. Working with upcycling artist Helen Brown they will create shoes that reflect each of the 7 decades of the twinning.

Inter-generational event with Bristol-Hannover alumni sharing experiences at Fairfield School

Students at Cotham Secondary School will be working with composer Roly Porter to create music that draws on the sounds that exchange students will have heard over the years in these two cities.

The final performance will be coordinated by dance choreographer Sylvia Rimat where Bristol and Hannover students will exchange shoes accompanied by their musical score.

Heritage Lottery funding will allow Local Learning to work with Bristol Hannover exchange alumni to create a touring exhibition that will tell the story of this 70 year old friendship.

Header image, children in Hannover, 1947 taken from Wege aus dem Chaos, Hannover 1945-1949 by Th.Grabe, R.Hollmann and K.Mlynek