Striking response to Test Dept DS30

On Thursday we began our Closing Weekend event, Test Dept at Dunston Staiths, aka Test Dept DS30. The response has been overwhelming, as audiences experience this dramatic intervention at the monumental Staiths on the 30th anniversary of the Miners' strike. Here's just some of the thoughts and feelings that have been shared so far.

Jamie Eastman @EastmanJamie
Thx to & for DS30 tonight. Epic, booming, site specific AV tribute to countless lives affected by UK colliery closure

Stunning journey with DS30 last night! Epic, moving tribute at Dunstan Staiths - great to have been part of it.

monumental, outstanding, heartbreaking. 1st experience since

Totally loved at the last night..Cracking industrial soundtrack with images that stir a lot of emotions in this area.

Test Dep. last night was one of the most moving artworks I think I have seen! Don't miss it!

. memorial installation to the miners' strike & coal industry utterly spectacular, angry, moving. Incredible stuff.

Thoughtful drive home from at , so many turnoffs to places that used to be based round their pits.

Dunston Staithes was breath taking yesterday at - left a boat full of people standing in total silence for full 5 seconds after.

Annie Lambert, via email:
A boat trip up the river Tyne; a light show reminiscent of the search lights of the war; a documentary of work, of productivity, contribution, betrayal and death of communities. A soundtrack as raw and bleak as the events depicted and the realisation that nothing has changed much. We talk about resilience in the face of desolation; empty words – there is only desolation and no alternative was offered. The beat of pick against rock like the heart of a community stopped and so did time. If those of us who nightly watched the endless screenings to the end of an industry had really understood, really empathised we would have all risen up and stood against this oppression, but we didn’t. We were brainwashed by the media and became apathetic, part of the problem, aligned with the oppressor, guilty as charged. Tonight I have seen something so powerful and compelling, it will remain with me for a very long time.


- AV Festival