Blog

Museums, Legacy, Art, Culture and Community

‘Revealed Roots, Concealed Communities’  A project in hand Public on-line reports of the last ten years on the function of museums in society make interesting reading. They reveal a shift in priorities which in an ideal world might normally have been expected to attract additional public funding. In reality, the opposite is true. Given the state of the UK economy post-Covid and the vagaries of Brexit, the contrast in style between past and present documentation reflects a welcome improvement in messaging but fails to illustrate detailed ways in which its recommendations can best be realised in practice. The present case ...
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DWELLING CLE + UCD SYMPOSIUM 2022

CALL FOR PROPOSALS (NOW CLOSED) Cultural Literacy Everywhere and University College Dublin Symposium: 12–13 May 2022, by zoom. As a physical space of habitation, dwellings may take many forms, such as houses, castles, apartments, convents, caravans, huts, or barges. Moreover, dwelling – both noun and verb – implies a certain ‘staying put’ or even permanence. Dwelling might then be a state of rootedness and safety, the opposite of temporary spaces such as refugee camps, prisons, and hospitals. Space is a dimension that permits the formation of places, which for geographer Doreen Massey (1994) has multiple non-static identities. A place ...
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An Adventure Through Time & Space

By: Zeina Dghaim www.zeinad.com Every object tells a story. I present to you an Adventure Through Time & Space. A story about four objects from the Aga Khan Museum collection. An astrolabe, a manuscript (101 Nights) - not 1001 -, a lampstand, and a basil pot (Alfabeguer). An innovative approach combining music and motion design to renew artefacts from museum collections, preserving their beauty, functionality, and stories. I hope to inspire kids and adults through this storytelling as much as these artefacts and musical repertoire have inspired people for centuries. Click here to watch the animation video! Repertoire: Nikolai ...
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For Better or Worse: Socially Engaged Practices

Guest Blog by Anthony Schrag
www.anthonyschrag.com Over the past few decades, there has been a growing interest in participatory processes. There is now a “necessity of ‘civil society’ participation in decision-making processes” (Saurugger, 2010). The realm of culture has not escaped this “participatory turn” (Bishop, 2012). ‘Socially Engaged Practices’ occupy a central place within the sector. Major cultural expressions in the form of exhibitions, projects, festivals etc. become mechanisms designed to integrate the cultural sector into different domains such as education, social work, health and so on. Problematically, this work often involves the expectation that the outcome will be ‘transformative’, ...
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Changing Tack

Guest Blog in association with Artist Hannah Fox I grew up in the 1970’s ‘on the road’ with the legendary collective of artists Welfare State International, a wild and evolving band of musicians, performers, dancers, pyrotechnicians, sculptors and writers. We lived in caravans and toured the World making work in communities, creating art and wonder, giving, teaching and usually leaving behind a creative impact in the places we visited. Since then, for 30 years, I have been a professional freelance Artist undertaking my own work; making films, digital animations, projections, theatre shows, installations and constructions, all in a public context ...
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‘Making sense’: An enquiry into the relationship between research, cultural literacy and citizenship

‘Is it possible that we cannot even define a specimen object-unit of a science of action without thus abandoning the role of observer and becoming a partner in a social relationship. […] If we become participants, do we lose our objectivity? If we remain mere observers, do we lose the very object of our science, namely the subjective meaning of the action? Is there any way out of this dilemma?[1] It was in these terms that George Walsh’s magisterial 1967 review of Alfred Schutz’s 1932 phenomenological study of social science described the challenge which still faces the would-be sociologist or ...
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The renewed relevance of bricolage

One of the hapless outcomes of trying to define ‘cultural literacy’ in terms of social futures has been the need to understand the relationship between art, making, doing and their impact on society in a time of crisis. Practising art in the current climate barely puts food on the table, let alone changes society, unless artists and agents have access to patronage and space. Meantime, the entrepreneurial self-employed go bust, rental is a vicious circle, disadvantaged kids suffer from malnutrition and Netflix streams a slurry of fourth-rate screenplays and wooden performances sustained by corporate capital (witness the recent, mind-numbing remake ...
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Artistic Reconnections with Land: Towards a systems view of cultural heritage learning

Amanda Bayley, Kennedy Chinyere, Nick Clough, Penny Hay, Denise Rowe, Jane Tarr
Bath Spa University ‘Pedagogies and global change’, was the focus of a presentation on 17th September 2020 to the annual conference of the Teacher Education for Equity and Sustainability Network (TEESNet). The overall theme of the conference was Education as a Pedagogy of Hope and Possibility: the Role of Teacher Education in Leading Narratives of Change. Our paper summarised findings from an initial enquiry into an intersectoral initiative exploring nature as cultural heritage. The objective of the enquiry was to include schools, freelance ...
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Holding on to Wonder

ARTIST BLOG | HANNAH FOX    www.hannahonthehill.co.uk Being asked to write a short piece about ‘Your Life as an Artist’ is a curious task. I remember messing around with setting up my first smart phone and being briefly puzzled by the face of the scowling woman looking back at me. There was a full couple of seconds before I realised that ‘selfie’ mode was engaged and the woman I held in my hand was me. Unconsciously observing myself was depressing in a mortal kind of way but also rather revealing in a vital way. As an Artist I spend pretty ...
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Cultural Literacy and Public Art in a Global Pandemic

Introducing Pippa Hale, Artist I was fortunate enough to encounter Pippa Hale’s work through the Special Interest Group’s case study of the project ‘Walking in Others’ Footsteps’ run by Mirador Arts, a highly active, charitable Community Arts Trust based in the North-West of the UK. The sub-project for which she was responsible was called ‘Skip, Play, Repeat

‘Skip, Play, Repeat’ involved re-enacting street play activities of previous generations of children by recrafting the artefacts which were commonly used at the time. Children of all backgrounds from schools in Preston took part in outdoor events in which they learnt how to ...
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