20sPeople programme to connect us all with our past

To mark the publication of the 1921 Census of England and Wales in January, we can today announce 20sPeople: an exciting programme of events and activities connecting our lives in the 2020s with those of people living in the 1920s.

20sPeople will explore the stories of the past and present through a varied programme including a headline exhibition, talks, webinars, and digital content which aims to show what we can learn by connecting with those who have gone before us.

A central part of the season will be our onsite exhibition, The 1920s: Beyond the Roar, opening on 21 January and offering a chance to step into a day in the life of the 1920s – ending in a nightclub with all the associated sights and sounds.

The 1920s: Beyond the Roar will bust myths and challenge misconceptions often associated with the period to reveal what life was really like for people in the 1920s: a period of huge social change, upheaval, defiance, and excitement, sitting between two world wars.

Alongside the exhibition will be a programme of events taking in themes as diverse as politics, health, house history, and fashion. Upcoming highlights to kick off the season include: our Head of Military Records, Will Butler, on Celebrating peace after the First World War; author and historian, Catherine Arnold, on the ‘Spanish flu’ influenza; and the broadcast of Stranger in a Strange Place, an audio drama telling the moving story of a Liverpool merchant repatriated to Jamaica.

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Emmajane Avery, Director of Public Engagement at The National Archives said: ‘Announcing our 20sPeople programme is hugely exciting and I look forward to exploring with our visitors the fascinating similarities and differences between the lives of ‘20s people a century apart.

‘Emerging from the shadow of a global pandemic, we find ourselves today in a time of rapidly developing technology, of global uncertainty, and in the midst of fundamental changes in how we interact with each other and understand ourselves as we adjust to a new world.

‘One hundred years ago a generation of individuals was learning to live after the trauma of a world war, recovering from a global pandemic, and embarking on a new era where everyday rights and roles were changing. As we have today, people a century ago had hopes and dreams, grief and joy, experiences and ideas.

‘While our exhibition, The 1920s: Beyond the Roar, will offer onsite visitors to The National Archives new insights into a time of change, crisis, and sometimes champagne-fuelled defiance, the wider programme and digital content will provide experiences for those not able to come to London. Wherever you are in the world there will be a way for you to engage with 20sPeople and explore our shared histories.’

Find out more at https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20speople


Tags: '20s, 1920s, 1921 census, 20sPeople, The 1920s:Beyond the Roar