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Durham Big Meet photo show
AN ART exhibition celebrating Durham Miners’ Gala opens this weekend.
The Big Meetings show, by photographer Julian Germain, features images of bands, speeches and villagers and explores the stories behind the event itself.
Attended by more than 100,000 people, the Gala is one of the largest political events in Europe.
This year’s, on Saturday, July 14, will be addressed by Labour Party leader Ed Miliband.
The Big Meetings exhibition, part of Brass: Durham International Festival 2012, will be at the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) Museum and Durham Art Gallery, in Aykley Heads, Durham City, from Saturday, June 30, to Sunday, September 9.
Mr Germain was invited to document the Gala itself and capture some of the human stories behind it.
He visited former pit villages including Chopwell, Easington and Esh Winning to meet residents, brass bands in their practice rooms and activists.
Sally Dixon, Durham County Council arts team leader, said: "The County Durham coalfields, which once employed a staggering 170,000 people, have now all gone. However, the annual Miners’ Gala maintains a vital and defiant presence.
"It provides an outlet for local communities to reflect on their social, cultural and political and industrial heritage and this exhibition is an attempt to reflect that.
"The Gala is also a highlight of the year for the 70 or more brass bands that lead the parade so it is only fitting that Julian’s work is displayed as part of Brass (festival)."
The DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Entry costs £3.60 for adults, £2.60 for concessions, £1.60 for children aged four to 16 and is free for under fours.
For more information, visit durham.gov.uk/dli or brassfestival.co.uk