Introducing Emerge Young Producer – Hannah Saunders

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We are delighted to announce our Emerge Young Producer trainees for 2017! Over the next three years, we will support up to 18 young people aged 16-25 in Peterborough with extensive training, support, mentoring and funding to deliver their own creative project in the city. We’ll be sharing more about their journeys as their projects get under way, but for now we’d like to introduce you to them! Say hello to Hannah Saunders!


Age – 23

An interesting fact about you – I was going to be called Boo after The Boo Radleys, but got stuck with Hannah instead.

Favourite artist & why – Hildegard von Bingen, the 11th/12th century German Abbess. I find the concept of the ‘polymath’ fascinating, especially within the realm of women’s history and Hildegard was a mystic, using various mediums to communicate her insights and visions. She wrote works on medicine and natural history, she composed musical works and many plays of these works were performed in the convent she oversaw. Her works are sometimes accompanied by wonderful, otherworldly illuminations, however her role in the creation of these images is often disputed, but her input is visible regardless.

What do you like about Peterborough? – I recently moved back to Peterborough after living in Wales for 4 years, returning home I was impressed with the amount of opportunities there now are in the city and surrounding areas to become involved in arts & heritage activities. Like most people the Cathedral is my favourite part of the city, because of the wealth of history it represents, and the beauty of the structure itself. Longthorpe Tower and its exquisite wall paintings are up there too, along with St Kyneburgha’s in Castor & St Pega’s in Peakirk. I’m now based in Thorney and often find myself wandering around trying to imagine where the hermits once lived when the fens were divided up into Islands! The poetry scene in Peterborough is definitely something to celebrate, with regular nights like ‘Write Club’, ‘Freak Speak’ and ‘What the Thunder said’ providing a platform for local poets to perform their work and meet other like minded people.

What else are you interested in? – My background is in Documentary Photography, and I studied at The University of Wales, Newport, now The University of South Wales. My photographic work is informed by literary and historical themes, from Dylan Thomas to Mary Wollstonecraft, with a focus on portraiture, with some exploration into photo-montage too. I write and perform poetry and I also sing in a Post Punk band called Artefact, recently we’ve just released our first LP ‘Votive Offering’ with a Berlin based label called Adagio830. Oral History is the next medium I’m eager to explore, I’m set to attend training with the Oral History Society in April and May, and I’m currently developing ideas for possible projects relating to folklore and subcultures. I’m enthralled by the medieval period, by asceticism, specifically anchorites (recluses who had their last rites administered and were bricked up in cells normally attached to the sides of churches, some even had cats!), dendrites (recluses who lived in trees) and stylites (recluses who lived on top of pillars). Relics and Reliquaries (The vessels they are contained within) also intrigue me a great deal, with the energy invested into the objects being more impressive to me personally than the objects themselves.

Describe your Emerge Young Producer project idea in one sentence – A participatory youth project focused on interpretation and creative re-use of Archival material.

What are you most looking forward to during the Emerge programme? – I’m looking forward to advocating how incredible a resource archives truly are, especially for local creatives and young people! Or even to just make the public aware of what an archive is, or where our local archive is! I’m also looking forward to meeting with my mentor and making best use of her guidance and expertise!


  1. […] a presentation from his Reunions project, Jay Gearing of Paper Rhino films, and photographer Hannah Saunders, as well as Jabeen Shafee, city resident and member of Creative Interruptions International […]

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