Social Responsibility Awards, Round 1 (2021-22): Project Abstracts
Written/compiled by Anke Bernau
We are delighted to share abstracts (see below) for some of the projects that received Social Responsibility (SR) / Cultural Engagement Awards in the first round of applications for this year. We hope that this will give a good sense of the wide range and reach of SR-related work being undertaken across the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures (SALC), as well as providing helpful examples for those interested in putting a project together in the future.
We will be sending out the call for the second round soon (deadline 18 February 2022). If you have any questions or ideas you would like feedback on, contact your departmental SR representative in the first instance, and/or get in touch with Simon Parry (email@example.com) or Anke Bernau (firstname.lastname@example.org).
‘Cultural Heritage of Trauma, Disaster, Crisis’
(Creative Manchester Cultural Engagement Award)
This project aims to explore the formation, documentation, and use of cultural heritage of trauma, disaster, and crisis. It specifically involves working with the September 11 UK Families Support Group, independent collective trauma and museum consultants, and filmmakers in order to:
- Understand the motivations, aims, benefits, and challenges of the formation, relevance, value, and use of personal, family, and community archives around traumatic events;
- Explore models of self- and group management of such archives, assist individuals and communities plan for such work, and identify the scope of cultural professional and psychological support that this work might require; and
- Produce relevant guidance for key stakeholders including those directly affected by disaster (bereaved people, survivors, associations, and communities), and training material for professionals working with such groups (for example trauma therapists, disaster managers, and museum professionals, and archivists).
September 11 UK Families Support Group
Dr Kostas Arvanitis, ICP
Dr Anne Eyre and Jelena Watkins, Centre for Collective Trauma
Jen Kavanagh, independent curator and oral historian
Belle Vue Productions
NHS Voices of COVID-19
‘British South Asian Women, Marginalised Voices’
(Academic Mentor: Maohui Deng)
This project aims to give older British South Asian women a platform to perform spoken word poetry in both English and their mother-tongues. The project works with Let’s Talk; a grassroots organisation based in Rochdale working to help older British South Asian women who have experienced sexual assault/domestic violence. In this project, I will run monthly poetry workshops with these women participants and allow them to reclaim the narratives of their life course, in turn working to foster a community for those who feel isolated and marginalised by society. The project will culminate with an evening of sharing at Contact Theatre.
‘Poetry and Bird-watching in Post-industrial Manchester’
This project brings SALC and Lancashire Wildlife Trust together to offer a series of workshops to young people under 18 resident in South Manchester. The students involved will participate in a bird-watching session in Whitworth Park and travel to Lancashire Wildlife Trust site, Chatt Moss in Salford, to see ongoing conservation work in post-industrial landscapes. Working with local poets, Rebecca Hurst and Clare Shaw, students will produce short-form poetry for the Wildlife Trust walking app and a zine which will be distributed by Manchester Central Libraries. The workshops will create a connection with nature by teaching students to identify birds and observe nature, a skill-set which is proven to increase wellbeing and alleviate anxiety. It will inspire them to work to protect wildlife in their local area, help them explore and express their feelings about climate change and the loss of animal species via poetry and creative writing exercises.
Holly Morse and Daniel Langton
‘Going beyond Belief’
The Religions and Theology Department at The University of Manchester are working in collaboration with BBC Radio 4’s Beyond Belief programme to design and launch an online educational resource that offers creative ways to support students taking AS- and A-level RS using the show’s archive. Its aim is thus to provide young people across the UK with new opportunities to learn more about issues in the study and practice of religions, about cultural and religious diversity, and about the contemporary experience of people in faith communities. The latest part of this project, supported by the Social Responsibility fund, will be a four-part podcast series that provides a platform for sharing the lived experience of people from a range of different faith groups in relation to key themes explored on the online educational resource: the environment, same sex marriage, free will, and artificial intelligence.
Eloise Moss and Jerome de Groot
Unveiled in 2018, Manchester’s statue of Emmeline Pankhurst has been a fantastic success, representing an important and critical part of Manchester’s history. The development and eventual commissioning of the statue involved the creation of a special advisory group consisting of local history organisations and education collectives. This advisory group has continued to meet and is devoted to expanding the number of women commemorated within the city, in particular focusing on:
- Elizabeth Gaskell: novelist and social reformer
- Margaret Ashton: suffragist, pacifist politician, and first female councillor in Manchester.
- Ellen Wilkinson: suffragist, socialist, pacifist, Labour Member of Parliament
- Louise Da Cocodia: anti-racist campaigner and Deputy Lieutenant of Manchester
- Elizabeth Raffald: entrepreneur and businesswoman.
The Womanchester project helps to develop lightshows, murals, walking trails, blue plaque ‘badges’, educational resources, events, and images for use around the city.
‘A Walk along the Cornbrook’
The Cornbrook is a culverted watercourse that rises in east Manchester and travels below The University of Manchester campus before emptying into the Manchester Ship Canal. The route of the Cornbrook, running under and beyond the university campus, links together local and university communities, providing an opportunity to explore and promote these connected histories. Five narratives will feature in this project: The Villas, now housing the Cornerstone Homeless Project; Chorlton Abbey, past home of the Schunk family; Moss Side Police Station, focus of the 1980s riots; Green Hay, childhood home of Thomas de Quincey (see map regression video here); finally the Arthur Lewis Building celebrating Britain’s first black professor. Evidence of these narratives is recorded in the fabric of the extant buildings, historic maps and local knowledge. This project will collate this information so the route can be walked and stories experienced, linking together places and people, past and present.
The Effalah radio programme was created in 2015 to contribute to the revitalisation of Eegimaa, partly by increasing its visibility in the public sphere. Eegimaa is a minority language spoken in southern Senegal. This programme aims at raising awareness on socio-economic development, education and well-being in the Eegimaa-speaking community. Experts on different topics are invited to individual radio shows to share their knowledge and answer questions from callers. Radio shows are aired in ZigFM, a local private radio, which broadcasts all over the Casamance (Southwestern Senegal). Over 80 radio shows have been broadcast between 2015 and 2021. Topics that have been covered so far include those relating to Eegimaa way of life, e.g. history, religion, kinship, inheritance and traditional rice cultivation etc. Current issues are also discussed. These include education, health, e.g. the prevention of diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDs, and more recently, COVID-19.
Global Climate Change Comic
(Creative Manchester Cultural Engagement Award)
The Global Climate Change Comic: Tales of the Everyday is a 40-page comic. It aims to educate students (aged 11+) about the social, cultural, health, economic and political impacts of climate change on low-income families, and how these families adapt to climate change. It will draw on Dr Gemma Sou, Dr. Gina Ziervogel (University of Cape Town) and Adeeba Risha’s (BRAC University) qualitative research in Australia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Bolivia, Puerto Rico, and Barbuda. The comic will be translated into four languages and will be freely available online and thousands of physical copies will be distributed to educators across the world. The comic also aims to positively and ethically represent the intimate experiences of low-income climate change affected people who are often under-represented or subject to discriminatory media representations. The comic will include 24 illustrated pages, 2000 words of information about climate change, original research photographs and discussion points.
‘The Beautiful Care / Art of Care’
‘The Beautiful Care / Art of Care’ project is a collaboration between James Thompson and his current research on Care Aesthetics, theatre practitioner Jenny Harris, who works with people living with dementia, and dementia care trainer Luke Tanner. This collaboration aims to raise public debate about creative approaches to social care and is a response to the field of arts in health, but also to the poor outcomes from care homes during the COVID crisis. The project will create a dialogue between the arts and social care on an equal footing so that arts practitioners learn from the craft of carers and carers learn from the practice of artists. In has two components: a public reading of a new script drawn from interviews with social care practitioners exploring what it means to offer beautiful care, and series of workshops in elder care settings drawing on this event to create new approaches to the art of care for care home staff and residents.
Duration of SR projects round 1: 2021-2022
SR Directors: Simon Parry (Director for SR, SALC) & Anke Bernau (Associate Director for SR, SALC)
Audiences involved: SALC staff/students & wider public
SR funds: SALC Social Responsibility Award & Creative Manchester Cultural Engagement Award