Bring us your Arms!
Dacci una mano!

Audience led research into industrial towns in Yorkshire and Northern Italy

Your Arms! project intends to gather and share information from people affected by these industrial issues with the hope that the collective knowledge and experience will both aid our understanding of our past and present situations and prepare for the impending change in how we work. It is of little surprise to find that the social development of “textile towns” in Yorkshire and Italy bear many similarities and parallels to one another. These parallels can become something of practical use to communities affected by the increasing mechanization of processes, and the resulting centralization of manufacture to areas with cheaper labour costs.

In this first phase of Your Arms! project Andy Abbott and Yvonne Carmichael have spent the 4 months of the Unidee residency finding parallels between Yorkshire, Biella and the surrounding area. This has led to interesting discoveries about shared machinery and architecture, paternalism in the textiles industry, model worker’s villages and overseas competition. Abbott and Carmichael have also focused on researching features that distinguish the Yorkshire and Biellese people, including unique local produce, artisan workers and local customs and games that help to present a truer picture of day
to day life in these areas.
The most important method of research relies on the input and interaction of the Yorkshire and Biellese community through interviews and questionnaires. An “interactive survey machine” has been designed to encourage Biellese/Italian people to contribute to the project through anecdotes and discussion.
With the information gathered from this phase Your Arms! intend to increase the number of towns linked in the project and the depth and extent of these potential international relationships.

Andy Abbott
and Yvonne Carmichael