Octagon Theatre celebrate Black History Month with launch of new project

Octagon Theatre celebrate Black History Month with launch of new project

Octagon Theatre have partnered with Bolton Solidarity Community Association (BSCA) on a new project - The Fabric of Bolton.

During Black History Month and beyond, the Octagon Theatre and BSCA are working in partnership on a new project – The Fabric of Bolton. The project aims to platform and celebrate Bolton's industrial heritage, from a fresh and less commonly heard perspective – that of the Black, Asian and other ethnic minority members of the community who contributed to this legacy through their work in textiles and other industries of Bolton.

As part of the project the Octagon and BSCA will be interviewing Bolton residents who have a history of working in the textile and other industries in Bolton in the 1960s – 1980s. As a result of these interviews a short film, inspired by the oral histories will be produced and screened in the new Octagon building in early 2021.

The Octagon are keen to hear stories from people who worked in the textile and other industries in the 1960s-1980s and are specifically keen to hear from Bolton residents with Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Somali, or other African or Caribbean heritage, who worked in the mills, factories and other parts of Bolton's industry and who would like to be interviewed for an oral history project. If you don't identify as any of these specific heritages listed but feel that your story and experience is relevant to the aims of the Fabric of Bolton project, please get in touch, as the team would be keen to hear from you.

Lotte Wakeham, the Artistic Director of the Octagon comments: “Bolton has such a rich and diverse industrial history and I am thrilled the Octagon is working with BSCA on this exciting project. At the Octagon we are passionate about our town and believe in shining a light on stories that might not have been widely heard before. So, if you or your parents, grandparents or friends feel they would be able to contribute to this project we would love to hear from you - please get involved! I’m delighted that the Octagon is partnering with BSCA again, having worked with them recently on a short film to celebrate Refugee Week. Here at the Octagon we believe that everyone’s story matters, and I’m very excited about the stories we are going to be able to uncover and share through this project.”

Project Officer at BSCA Ibrahim Ismail added “It is an honour to work with The Octagon Theatre on this important piece of local history. Our town has such a rich history of welcoming communities and people. Boltonians from all over the world have contributed over the years to the town and its industries. We hope this project will help make sure that none of this history is lost or forgotten."

Interviews will take place during October and early November. If you are interested and would like to find out more, please email participation@octagonbolton.co.uk

Image from the collection of Bolton Library and Museum - Laitaben Mistry, St Helena Mill, Bolton