United We Act: a scoping study and a symposium on connected communities

Earlier this year the SiDE Creative team were successful in a bid for the AHRC Connected Community research project. The SiDE project researched  digital technologies and how they have supported transnational forms of connectedness and how the efficiency of grassroot movements, communities are once again looked at as innovative fertile grounds for alternative social organisation. The Connected Communities symposium aimed to critically explore notions of community, as evolving with the creative uses and the effects of digital technologies. The scoping study called ‘Situating Community through Creative Technologies and Practice’ focused on – but not restricted to – the following topics:

– Effects of digital technologies on community formation, self-realisation, and development;

– How creative use of technology fosters micro-communities, empowers marginalised groups and enables new forms of cultural expression;

– Socio-political impact of community connectivity on society, in particular during this period of economic change.

The symposium took place over a period of three days, 12-14 September 2011, at Culture Lab, an interdisciplinary research laboratory and a venue for engagement and public events. It consisted of :

– A conference over 3 days, with talks selected from submitted expressions of interests under the topics of: Collective Action, Participative Platforms, Engagement, Economies, Transnational, (Hi)stories, Technology & Society, Community Art, and Co-Creation.

– An exhibition at Culture Lab OnSite, centred on the notions of community and digital media. This included blogs, documentation of community-based art workshops, art and ethnographic projects. The exhibition ran until the 18th of September.

– Two workshop sessions, The Paper Orchestra, by the art collective sampler-cultureclash, using the symposium as a temporary community of practice to explore deeper questions of community.

All information on the project can be found at SiDE Creative including video’s and documentation of the symposium presentations, exhibition and workshop.

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