Young people in Sefton and Runcorn launch new book on Northern Identity


Our North, a new book produced by local young people in collaboration with artists, curators and designers is set to launch over May half term, with a series of free public events open to everyone. The book, formed of photos and short essays, seeks to respond to an important question for those interested in fashion, heritage and identity: ‘What does it mean to be Northern for young people today?’

In Crosby, Formby, Bootle and Southport, the book will launch at a series of events taking place in the area’s libraries over between 29th May and 11th June. Another launch event will take place in Runcorn, at The Brindley Theatre. Supported by national lottery players via the Heritage Lottery Fund, the book marks the culmination of the Our North project from Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery. Across the region, young people worked with arts and fashion professionals to redefine ideas around ‘The North’.

The project began as an offshoot to the photography gallery’s internationally successful 2017 exhibition, North: Identity, Photography, Fashion, featuring Northern fashion and photography icons Paul Smith, Shirley Baker and Peter Saville. 

Adam Murray, the original co-curator of the exhibition, worked with the young people over the course of the project, and has written a foreword for the book. Our North also features key reflections by Phil Thornton and Rob Hancock, part of the youth support worker teams involved in the project.

The young people worked closely with local designer Thom Isom to co-design and produce the final publication. The photographs within have also been produced with and by the young people in collaboration with photographer Stephanie Wynne and project coordinator and photographer Andy Yates.


Sefton Youth Voice will be on-site across the Formby, Southport, Bootle and Crosby libraries during May Half term to distribute the publications and talk to the public in more detail about the inspiration behind the work produced.

Young people from the Runcorn Power in Partnership programme will be hosting a day time launch event at the Brindley Theatre on Monday 11th June.

A final event will take place at Open Eye Gallery, bringing together people with an interest in the role the photography and heritage has to play when working with young people. The event will be free but booking recommended and takes place on Tuesday 26th June, 6 – 7.30pm.

‘Our North’ will launch with a series of free public events across the region. The book will be free to all who attend the events, and is also available through Open Eye Gallery. For full details, head to Open Eye Gallery’s website. Our North is made possible through lottery players, with financial support from Heritage Lottery Fund.