Memory, pride and politics on parade: the Durham Miners’ Gala

Andreas Pantazatos, Helaine Silverman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Gala is the largest, single-day trade union festival in Europe, attracting tens of thousands of participants from the former coal mining villages of County Durham to the city. Cultural landscapes are created over time by human activities and have broad cultural contexts and particular ideologies and iconographies. The banners play a critical role in visualising the memory of a community, in creating a community of memory that is then performed at the Gala, which is especially important in ‘socialising’ the younger post-industrial generation. Heritage education aims to sustain the memory of mining heritage for future generations. The Gala is the primary epistemic resource for pursuing resistance and its main actor is the parade of mining lodge banners. The Gala’s diverse public has different values, shares diverse experiences and manifests diverse communicative habits — but uniting everyone is progressive politics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHeritage and Festivals in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationPerforming Identities
EditorsUllrich Kockel, Cristina Clopot, Baiba Tjarve, Máiréad Nic Craith
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780429511554
ISBN (Print)9780367186760
StatePublished - Sep 9 2019

Publication series

NameCritical Heritages of Europe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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