We are delighted to announce an award from Heritage Lottery Fund to create a living graphic novel about the First World War experiences of Hastings-born combatant Archie Belaney who signed up with the 13th Montreal Battalion: the Canadian Black Watch. We have teamed up with the Hastings Museum & Art Gallery and Gateways to the First World War Engagement Centre to work with a group of volunteers aged 16-25 from East Sussex College Hastings to research, “unpack” and interpret the experiences of Archie who disappeared from his life in Hastings to become a fur trapper and woodsman in Canada and then fought in the trenches as a sniper during World War One. When he returned to Canada he entirely adopted the life of a Canadian Native American including taking the name “Grey Owl”. The research, conducted with the help of Gateways to the First World War and Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, will culminate in the creation of a living graphic novel exploring Archie’s experiences in the trenches and life in Canada. This will be screened with a live score by the Cabinet of Living Cinema at the Performing the Past Symposium (QUB) on Monday 20th May, the Hastings Museum museum and at Gulbenkian, Canterbury (University of Kent), in 2019, with screenings followed by a Q & A panel featuring volunteers, the Cabinet and the animation team. The film and score will be available online.
We are delighted to be working with graphic novel illustrator Hannah Eaton in the creation of Grey Owl on the Western Front.