Crossings: A Community Project on Leith's Rich Heritage

Crossings: A Community Project on Leith's Rich Heritage

Crossings is a community project which started in 2016 and resulted in a trio of dance films, created by diverse communities in Edinburgh who were responding to the vibrant heritage of Leith. It is accompanied by an exhibition of historic objects, selected by the participants of those groups.

The exhibition is currently (Spring 2017) showing at The People's Story Museum, 163 Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH8 8BN and you're welcome to see this fabulous display.

In the summer, the exhibition will move to Leith Custom House,  65-67 Commercial St, Edinburgh EH6 6LH.

For the project, Edinburgh Tales from Upward Mobility, Unusual Suspects from Dance Base, and Edinburgh Young Carers Project worked together with dance artists Luke Pell, Beverley Grant and Allan Irvine as well as with filmmakers Maciej Czajka and Pedro Vaz Simões, and sound artist Barney Strachan. They created new dance films which explore the history of Leith and its people.

Each film articulates aspects of the vibrant history hidden behind the everyday face of Leith’s streets, as discovered and understood by the project participants. The groups took as their starting points Trinity House Maritime Museum and The Leith collections, held by Edinburgh Museums and Galleries at the Museums Collection Centre and the City Art Centre.


Home Is Where the Heart Is

Made by Edinburgh Young Carers Project with Allan Irvine

Wherever you are, whatever you may be doing, home is always the place you can return to. It’s where you can feel safe and happy - it’s where you can dream.

This film explores the motion of the sea, the dockers hard at work, and the directions of the compass.

Edinburgh Young Carers Project participants:
Jade Thomson, Courtney Knight, Connie Rose Brogan, Carla Cullerton, Jade Roberts, Dion Siller, Finlay Johnson, Rio Purves, Kim Ratclifffe, Robert McCallum, Cathlyn-Eve Dobbie Fraser, Samara Cunningham, Charlie Kenny, Annie Burnett, Megan Purdie, Dylan Fleming, Kai Millar, Niamh Sutherland, Mirren Proc, Rochelle Smith, Paige McPhee, Cameron Black, and Jak Beasley

Edinburgh Young Carers Project team:
Mo Whelton, Shona James, Amy McKinnon, Jamie Faichney and Suzanne Newall

Working on the Waves 

Made by Unusual Suspects with Beverley Grant

The boys of Unusual Suspects were especially interested in the ropes, knots, nets at sea as well as in the difficult conditions the men working on the ships had to endure. Combined with Beverley’s background in aerial dance, this led the direction of the film upwards and off the land.

Nicola Wright at Trinity House told stories about Leith's maritime history which resonated with the boys, in particular, tales about fishwives and penguins – both were included in the film. See if you can spot them!

Unusual Suspects participants:
Saul Woehrling, Dan Irvine, Daniel Mason-Bone, Magnus Byrne, Otto Neckel, and Jack Airlie

With thanks to Jamie Tindal and All Or Nothing.

Endless Explorations and Journeys of Time

Made by Edinburgh Tales from Upward Mobility with Luke Pell

Wood and water, star and hand, fire and paper, sea and heart, moon and bone, light and land. The paper, the pen, the pistol, timekeepers, being wrapped up and moved around, the feeling of holding and folding maps, telling the story of my object, describing, without saying, a whole building going to sea, inside and out, travelling, moving, it felt like being free.

Endless Explorations and Journeys of Time takes the treasure trove that is Trinity House Maritime Museum as a place from which to explore the notion of journeys, of objects and of 
people and the movements, materials and imaginations that make and give them meaning.

Edinburgh Tales participants: Billie Cross, Ben Ferguson, Marcello Ferrara, Kirsty Henderson, Kris Lambert, Colin Marshall, Craig Peart, Lori Smith, and Nicola Steiger

Edinburgh Tales Workshop team: Pilar Alvarez, Ria Annand, Verita Barton, Andy Mallarkey, Craig Finnie, Sian Krawiec and Lauren Scott

With thanks to Katie Miller.

The films were shown at our launch in July at the City Art Centre. A live performance of Hook, Line and Sinker by our Dance Base group Great Feats, with music by MacMaster/Hay and choreography by William Thorburn accompanied the films.

A CPD pack was produced as a teaching resource for primary school teachers and CPD sessions, led by Emma Stewart-Jones, were held at Dance Base, based on the CPD pack.

Crossings has been made possible by the generous contributions of the participants and support from the following partners and funders:











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