Blog

Affect re-visited: finding the balance between theory and practice

This isn’t really a blog. Or even an essay. More a series of disconnected thoughts arising out of belated readings on affect theory and its implications for Cultural Literacy Research. As a SIG coordinator and consultant to universities on research bidding, I continue to be preoccupied by the impact of ‘the affective turn’ on the social dynamics of definable, site-specific groups in society. Much recent academic and journalistic commentary has drawn attention to the significance of emotion in the formulation of public and private opinion. Amongst other things, it has emphasised the divisive impacts on western societies of populism ...
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Digital Memoir Exhibition 2022

An International Call for Entries coming soon for the Digital Memoir Exhibition 2022. Participants will be asked to submit a memoir that reflects a personal moment of cultural freedom that was critical to determining their personal identity. o Digital artifacts will be submitted for juried review to include: Poetry, graphic novels, collage, essay, visual and digital art, etc. o Selected pieces will be curated and displayed for the summer event that will be hosted digitally. Participants will submit recorded presentations of the works selected which will be presented during the weeklong, exhibit period. o To culminate the event, live presentations ...
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Workshops

"Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors," from the essay of the same title, by Rudine Sims. For this hour-long, interactive workshop, participants will explore the memoir as a narrative creative form. For this occasion, participants/creators will recount significant experiences through meaningful dwellings from their life. To frame this experience, a selection of memoirs will be shared through which participants will discuss and reflect on the significance of dwellings in their own experience as relates to the development of their personal and cultural identity. Following the discussion, a series of questions or prompts will be given from which each can choose ...
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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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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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