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Interviewing eyewitnesses

Nico Zijlstra

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40 Years ago the Dutch government decided to close all coalmines in the region of Heerlen NL.

The closures had a profound impact on the miners, in fact on everyone in the region. 20 years after the closures there was hardly anything left that reminded of this period of local industry.

In the heads of ex-miners however the History lived on. Together with my pupils we've decided to create a 'digital monument'in which the story will be told for future generations.

December 17th 2005, exactly 40 years after the closures were announced, pupils aged 15-16 carried out some 20 interviews on digital video tape. In a special website on the Dutch mining industry those videointerviews will be made public.

At the same time other pupils made a film acting as journalists reporting on the official festivities of that remembrance day.

More info:


The 'digital monument'

The video: pupils at work for www.demijnen.nl

A photographic impression

The first 2 interviews on-line

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That looks like a fantastic project and one which would work well if replicated in many areas of the UK. I grew up in what was known as the 'largest mining village in the world' - Ashington, Northumberland. The mines have now shut and unemployment is rife. Men have lost their sense of identity and haven't found one to replace it. Some kind of project which brings the community together like the one you have been part of here would be just the ticket.

Well done! B)

Doug :hehe:

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