Nissan: 30 years on
Reflecting on the impact of three decades of Nissan in the lives of the people of the North East. A collaboration between photographer James Sebright and writer and audio artist Rachel Cochrane.
The North East of England has a longstanding relationship with Japan, dating back to the export of North East technology in the late 19th century, through to the building of Japanese warships on Tyneside in 1905.
In 1984, against a backdrop of the miners' strike and a Conservative government lead by Margaret Thatcher, Nissan Motors signed an agreement to build a car factory on a greenfield site on the outskirts of Sunderland. Two years later, the first car rolled off the production line. Since then Nissan has become the biggest employer in the region, with production passing 8 million vehicles.
Although much has been documented of the long mining and industrial heritage of the North East and its legacy, little has been gathered about today’s way of life for those working for modern day manufacturing organisations like Nissan. Working collaboratively, photographer James Sebright and writer/audio artist Rachel Cochrane have sought to redress this balance. Taking a broad remit, they have explored how Nissan has impacted the lives of people in the region, to create a present-day snapshot of the effect of 30 years of Nissan in the North East.
You can join writer Rachel Cochrane for a relaxed and informal writing workshop looking at Japanese influences, past and present, in North East culture and community. Participants can take inspiration from the Nissan: 30 Years On exhibition as well as handling artefacts from the Museum’s collection.
To book a place on the next workshop look under Workshops on the menu to the left of the page.
Find out more about what participants have been up to at previous workshops by visiting Rachel's blog:
This project is sponsored by Durham University and Arts Council England and is supported by the Oriental Museum, North East Chamber of Commerce and Nissan Motors UK.