Nissan, Sunderland

Nissan: 30 Years On

The Influence of Japan on North East Industry – A Collaborative and Multifaceted Approach

It’s now 30 years on from the Miners’ strike and in that time so  much has changed in North East industry , not least the arrival of one of the region’s biggest employers, Nissan in 1984.  Photographer James Sebright and myself have been working  together in the vast Nissan factory in Sunderland to take portraits of the plant and the workers through photography, oral history, audio, film and creative writing.  We have been looking at the stories of  the individuals behind the highly efficient machinery and the stories of individuals in the community associated with Nissan.  All this has now culminated in an exhibition at The Oriental Museum, Durham University, which runs until 18th October 2015 and we have had the honour of showing the Japanese High Consul Mr Kitaoka and his wife around.

Of course a project like this doesn’t get off the ground without a lot of support and we are indebted to Dr Craig Barclay at The Oriental  Museum, Keith Bartlett at Durham University, Arts Council England for funding with further support from Nissan Motors UK  and the  North East Chamber of Commerce.  And of course we would like to thank the indivuduals who have taken part in the project and been happy to share their stories, homes, aspirations and hopes with us.

As part of the project I have also delivered related talks and creative writing workshops.  I have also produced a podcast of creative work from the Dunelm U3A group inspired by the exhibition and the Oriental Museum’s Japanese collection.  To find out more CLICK HERE

Venues for the Nissan: 30 Years On Exhibition

Oriental Museum, Durham University: 12th June to 18th October 2015

South Shields Museum: 7th November 2015 to 23rd January 2016

Monkwearmouth Station Museum: 21st July to 6th Novemeber 2016

James and I are in the process of planning further exhibition venues and we are also looking to develop similar projects.  So if you think you would like to work with us on a project connected to your business – please get in touch! hello@rachelcochrane.com

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