What we know about Pages of the Sea in Sunderland: Danny Boyle's First World War centenary commemoration art project explained

Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle
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Sunderland has been chosen to feature in film director Danny Boyle's Armistice Day project to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

A full list of beaches to feature in Pages of the Sea has been released today, with Roker Beach playing a starring role. The only other North East beach to feature is Seahouses in Northumberland.

What will happen on the day?

On November 11 people are invited to gather on Roker Beach as part of an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.

A drawing of a large-scale portrait of a casualty from the First World War, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, will emerge from the sand, then be slowly washed away as the tide comes in.

Poet Carol Ann Duffy has written a poem especially for the event, to be read by individuals, families and communities on the day.

Pages of the Sea

Pages of the Sea

How can I get involved?

As well as being invited to attend the event, public will be asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict.

You can also take part online by browsing the project website to find someone to say your personal good bye to.

It could be someone from your community, or who shared your name, and you can add your own image of someone from the First World War from your family or community and say a personal good bye.

The images on the site are taken from the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War which aims to tell eight million stories of those who served from Britain and the Commonwealth.

Danny Boyle suggests sharing who you’ll be saying goodbye to on social media and inviting others to get involved.

Copies of Carol Ann Duffy's poem will be available online and at the beaches around the UK for those who wish to come together or to offer their own personal contribution.

Who is behind the project?

Pages of the Sea is part of the 14-18-Now arts programme, which was set up to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Initially created by the UK government as the 'First World War Centenary Cultural Programme' it later became an independent arts organisation based at the Imperial War Museum, London, but retaining some government funding.

Danny Boyle's team is working with Sunderland Culture on the Roker Beach part of the project.

Why did Danny Boyle choose the beach project?

The Slum Dog Millionaire and Trainspotting director said: “Beaches are truly public spaces, where nobody rules other than the tide.

"They seem the perfect place to gather and say a final goodbye and thank you to those whose lives were taken or forever changed by the First World War.

"I’m inviting people to watch as the faces of the fallen are etched in the sand, and for communities to come together to remember the sacrifices that were made.”