Based in Chapeltown, The Jamaica Society Leeds was founded by six first generation Jamaicans in 1977. The registered charity has championed the preservation, causes and heritage of Jamaican culture as well as flying the flag for Leeds and playing an important role in the development of the African Caribbean community for decades. One of the few Caribbean led organisations to own their own property, Jamaica House on Chapeltown Road has been seen as an essential stop for dignitaries, heads of state, artists and other VIP’s visiting from Jamaica.
THE HERITAGE & CONTEXT
The story of Windrush and the arrival of first generation Caribbeans from 1948 are well documented and following the 2017 70th anniversary (as well as the controversy surrounding treatment of the so called ‘Windrush Generation’) has received elevated attention. Eulogy aims to go beyond the headlines and a singular anniversary. It will capture the story and legacy of an entire generation.
Most Jamaicans who settled in Leeds intended to stay for 5 years before returning to Jamaica. For most they married and raised families here; worked on the buses; for the NHS, in textiles and manufacturing, until retirement. For those who did not return to the Caribbean, they had been in the UK longer than they had spent in their birthplace. Most spent their final days here.
Today, with many in their 80’s and 90’s, the origins, traditions and socio-political histories of the city’s Jamaican community rest with this aging and ever diminishing generation. They hold the memories and experiences of a generation who arrived as young people.
Subsequent generations, are familiar with the Jamaican contributions to the UK. But what of their lives on a colony before they arrived? What of those early days in a strange land? What of their final years?
For their families, funerals are an increasingly frequent fixture. It is often only during periods of grief and loss, and at funerals themselves they get to know details of the history, heritage and lives of their loved ones.
Jamaican tradition, rites and customs still have a strong presence at those funerals. At Jamaican funerals, it is common practice for an elaborate printed order of service/funeral programme to be produced. Common to most programmes are the eulogy, also read aloud which captures the roots and life stories of the departed – much of which is a revelation of new information about someone many have probably known all their lives. That often includes;
- Never before seen photos taken as young men and women – taken in Jamaica for their arriving passports or shortly after arrival in the UK, typically at a local photo studio, and sent back home to Jamaica to show off their new lives.
- Real names – many first generation Jamaicans are known by childhood nicknames
- Early days - an insight into their lives in colonial Jamaica;
- Coming to Leeds – the journey; the welcome; challenges and triumphs; living conditions; employment, retaining culture, and life in Leeds
- Cultural traditions – the importance of family gatherings, music, food and more.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Thanks to National Lottery players support through the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Eulogy will capture the individual, untold stories of the city's first generation Jamaicans, who arrived as young people and spent their last days here.
What's great about the project is that it is cross generational, multi platform, tells stories that anyone can relate to and reflects not only the DNA of Jamaican communities - but of the city too.
Eulogy’s centrepiece will be an exhibition of content taken from funeral programmes of the city’s first generation Jamaicans and collected by working closely, sensitively and respectfully with members of The Jamaica Society, local churches, personal contacts and other community networks.
Together, the photo and eulogy tell a rich life story. As a collection they will narrate the story of a whole generation.
Eulogy will not be mournful in anyway - moving perhaps, but certainly inspirational, joyful and celebratory with a number of strands including;
An expertly curated multi platform exhibition from August 1st to September 1st 2019 which will feature
- Photography and digital renderings of first generation Jamaicans, taken before and on arrival in Leeds, included in their funeral programmes and accompanied by excerpts from their eulogies and other archival ephemera. The main exhibition will be staged at Leeds Libraries’ Room 700 in a Leeds city centre with smaller versions in community locations e.g. libraries and churches.
- An illustrative Jamaica Farewell map charting the journeys of the individuals in the exhibition, from their birthplace towns and rural districts of Jamaica to Leeds.
- An online gallery of the exhibition and project content
- A photo book of the project/exhibition content.
- Engagement events intergenerational sessions and workshops focusing on life writing, Jamaican funeral and remembrance traditions, and capturing family memoirs.
- Volunteer programme – volunteers will receive training to support the collection of oral history interviews with first and second generation Jamaicans, to carry out archival research and to develop A Jamaica Heritage Trail of publications in the city’s permanent collections of Leeds Libraries.
WHO WE WILL WORK WITH
We will work sensitively and respectfully with Jamaica Society members and local communities, and with our project partners and contributors including;
- Local community groups, organisations and churches as well as our extensive network of volunteers, members and contributors (local and national).
- BBC Yorkshire and BBC Radio Leeds
- Jamaica High Commission (UK)
- West Yorkshire Archive Service
- Leeds Libraries
- Leeds Museums & Galleries and MYLearning.org online teacher’s resource.
- East Street Arts
The Jamaica Society Leeds is seeking to engage an experienced and suitably qualified and experienced Video Designer as part of our Eulogy project celebrating and commemorating the city of Leeds’ first generation Jamaican population. We’re looking for a creative film maker or video designer with an exceptionally creative eye and great editing skills who is accustomed to creating captivating, informative film for a range of digital platforms.
Freelance from April 2019 to January 2020. Flexible working will be required, including evenings and weekends.
The Eulogy Video Designer will report to our Eulogy Programme Director & Curator and work closely with our Heritage Engagement Producer.
ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES & SCOPE
The Eulogy Video Designer will be required to edit content collected during the project to produce a short film which will capture the ‘timeline history’, heritage and experiences of first generation Jamaicans, before and since settling in Leeds.
The film should include the following content:
- Archival footage, press clippings and still photography, made available by community contributors, Eulogy’s project partners including the BBC, West Yorkshire Archive, Leodis and cultural agencies in Jamaica.
- Recorded oral history interviews from our archives as well as collected by our research volunteers, during the project.
- Other footage filmed during the project e.g. on location at events.
We anticipate that the finished film will,
- Be around three to five minutes long, and will be accompanied by social media ready edits, including titles as needed.
- Form part of the Eulogy Exhibition at Leeds Central Library in Room 700 launching on August 1st until September 1st and be shown at engagement events and other project opportunities.
- Feature across Eulogy’s digital platforms including social media.
- Be shared via Vimeo/You Tube and featured on our website and potentially those of partners.
- Be held in archives which might include Leeds Libraries, West Yorkshire Archive Service and Black Cultural Archives.
RELEVANT KEY MILESTONES
|Community call outs for exhibition content and volunteer archival research/gathering.||February – May 2019|
|Development and agreement of the film’s ‘story timeline’ and treatment||April – May 2019|
|Development, sign off and production of film||May – mid July 2019|
|Eulogy Exhibition launch event Room 700, Leeds Central Library||August 1st 2019|
|Exhibition runs||August 1st –September 1st 2019|
|Project wrap event||December 2019|
|Evaluation and reporting||December 2019 – January 2020|
You must demonstrate:
- Exceptional editing skills and a creative eye for ‘story telling’ through film.
- A culturally sensitive and heritage-aware approach to your work.
- Ability to work to a brief, under pressure and meet competing deadlines
- Knowledge of licensing requirements.
- Strong understanding or experience of film projects which resonate with audiences and in particular African Caribbean audiences, as well as and an appreciation of the heritage of the Jamaica Society, its members and community at large.
- Ability to work both on your own initiative and as part of a team where necessary.
- Knowledge and understanding of accessibility for a range of audiences and platforms.
- Experience of creating work that reflects diverse audiences.
- Experience of working with Jamaican and/or other African Caribbean communities and older audiences would be an advantage.
Afee of £1,500 including VAT is available for this work. You will be responsible for your tax and NI contributions.
If you would like to apply for this work on this inspirational and moving project about lifetimes, please email us at the address below to provide;
- A covering letter outlining why you’re interested in the role and an overview of how you would approach the work; costs for your time to plan, edit and produce the film; cost for any potential music licences.
- A bio/CV including links to any similar/relevant work you have produced.
- Any significant periods you are unavailable between April 2019 – January 2020 due to other contracts and holidays.
Please note our maximum budget for this work is £1,500. Proposals will be assessed on a combination, creative approach, experience and cost.
If you have any questions about the brief or would like an informal chat with our Programme Director, Susan Pitter, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org