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Durham University

Engaging with Communities: Arts - and performance - based collaborative training


**Please note:
Many of the performance workshops will involve some moving around so please wear comfortable clothing **

Thursday 2nd May, 2013

9:00 - 9:30 Registration / Coffee
9:30 - 10:00 Welcome
10:00 - 10:30

Plenary Introduction Session

Connecting creative practice with community-university voices
Professor Rachel Pain

10:30 - 12:00

Parallel Workshops -
You will be asked to choose one of the following on the day:

1A: Back to the drawing board: exploring the use of ‘comics’ in research methods and modes of representation
Nathan Stephens Griffin, School of Applied Social Sciences (SASS), Durham University

The workshop will look primarily at the ways in which ‘comics’ have been used in academic contexts, both methodologically and as a means of representation and communication. Eisner (1985) defines comics broadly as ‘sequential art’, that is, images (and/or words) with a narrative dimension. Participants will explore comics as a valuable and distinct artistic medium, and will take part in a number of activities designed to investigate the potential usefulness of comics in research. The workshop gives attendees an opportunity to briefly ‘try out’ the use of a comic-based research method, with a particular focus on the experience and perspective of the research participant. The workshop will also consider a variety of topics including public engagement, reflexivity, biography, auto-ethnography and visual methods.

1B: Using Drama Techniques to Engage Learners and Workshop Participants
Dave Raynor, experienced drama teacher and practitioner

Drama techniques and exercises are now widely used as an effective way of engaging students and workshop participants across many subjects, disciplines and contexts. Drama games can build strong group dynamics, trust, and increase personal confidence and aid communication skills. As a teaching tool drama takes learners beyond the conventional teaching methods engaging creativity and physical participation; this enlivens lessons and workshops and is highly effective in stimulating students and participants. In this interactive workshop David Raynor (an experienced drama teacher and practitioner) will facilitate a series of fun and engaging activities that can be used in a wide range of contexts. There will be time to discuss the exercises and ask questions afterwards.

12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 14:30

Parallel Workshops -

Choose one of the following:

2A: Using art with children to explore emotions: the messiness of participation
Professor Rachel Pain, Geography Department, Durham University

This workshop aims at a critical examination of the use of art in participatory research. It draws on experiences on a long-term research project with refugee and locally-born young people in Newcastle upon Tyne, where art was one method chosen to explore young people’s hopes and fears. The methodology will be described, and we will try out the techniques used. Through diagramming and discussion, participants will raise and discuss critical questions. The aim is to explore the strengths and limitations of this method; what fosters participation; and tensions between "mess" and "professionalism" in both art and research.

2B: Participation, Digital Media and Performance
Jane Dudman and Ben Jones, Culture Lab, Newcastle University

Considering performance and digital technology, the workshop will reflect upon issues regarding participation, and the utopian ideal of full inclusion alongside the real possibility of exclusion. Does digital technology support, enhance or hinder participation? What are the ethical and practical issues that come into play through the employment of technology? Taking ideas from writers on performance and socially engaged art, [Beech (2008), Bishop (2012), Kester (2011), Kaprow (1993)] the session will explore how we might participate through digital media and performance, how our actions reflect on other participants, collaborators and spectators, and what it means to be in / excluded. Workshop participants will work in small groups, using digital recording devices, including their own mobile phones; to develop performance based situations outside of the workshop space. By thinking about created situations, the use of instructions and the relation to digital technology they will consider the ethical and in/exclusionary nature of digital participation.

14:30- 14:45

Comfort Break

14:45 - 15:15 Reflections on workshops
15:15- 16:40

Knowlege Cafe

During the Knowledge Cafe participants will come together to share ideas and discuss key themes and questions emerging from the first day of skills training.

16:45 Close and depart

Optional Evening Activity

Under Us All: Evening Performance at Sanctuary Artspace, Gateshead. 8.00pm

“We lay there without moving. But under us all moved, and moved us, gently, up and down, and from side to side.” - Samuel Beckett

Under Us All is an intimate, deep and delicately disquieting piece of theatre that has grown out of social geography research conducted by Michael Richardson at Newcastle University. The piece presents and builds on the stories and testimonies of working-class Irish Tynesiders in Hebburn, exploring the ways in which notions of masculinity, Irishness, religion, family, health, music, life and death change and shift over the years and from individual to individual.

Directed by Gwilym Lawrence and performed by Gordon Poad - who will play three generations of the same family - the verbatim piece will offer audiences the opportunity to come face-to-face with some of Tyneside's less prominent voices, celebrating both the region’s rich diversity and its shared humanity.

Running time approx 35 minutes.

For tickets £5.00 please contact Box Office 07796478024

Sanctury Artspace, St Edmunds Chapel, Gateshead High Street, NE8 1DL

Friday 3rd May, 2013
9:00 - 9:30


For participants who are arriving on the second day

9:30 - 11:00

Voices of Experience Panel

Professor Maggie O'Neill; Jayne Sellick; Susan Mansaray (Purple Rose)

In this panel, community members, postgraduates and academic researchers come together to discuss some of their personal experiences of using arts and performance-based methods in collaborative projects. After a short series of presentation the discussion will be opened up to all participants to ask questions or share their own experiences

Knowledge Cafe Feedback
Nuala Morse, Durham University

At the end of the panel the workshop organisers will feedback on the previous day's discussion and the key themes, issues or questions arising.

11:00 - 11:30 Break
11:30 - 13:00

Parallel Workshops

choose one of the following: 

3A: The Seaside: Cross Collaborative Art Form Exploration
Claire Ford, Freelance arts facilitator

The aim of this Workshop is to inspire participants to explore multiple Art Forms in a Cross Collaborative Context, taking into consideration all of our senses. Art Forms will include Visual Arts, Theatre and Storytelling and Music, engaging and creating a highly interactive space.

The Workshop will be facilitated around a ‘recognized’ theme in which will inspire the materials and props. Materials will be highly tactile and based around quick visual stimulation.

Participants will leave with a new found confidence in participation techniques, with the approach being adaptable to various groups and settings such as museums and galleries.

3B: Research, Analysis and Dissemination through Theatre
Gordon Poad and Gwylim Lawrence, Cap-a-Pie Associates

A microcosmic version of the process used to create Under Us All, a new piece of theatre that has been created from social geography research, which will be showing as part of the conference. Participants will be invited to generate new raw data from personal memory. Theatre makers, Gordon Poad and Gwilym Lawrence, will then share how they approach textual analysis and characterisation of academic research. The process will draw on Katie Mitchell’s The Directors Craft and the movement techniques of Rudolf von Laban to help the group characterise and theatricalise their research. Participants will be encouraged to assess how this process may help inform their research, analysis or dissemination of their own work, as well as compare and contrast how academics and theatre makers approach a text.

13:00 - 13:45 Lunch
13:45 - 15:15

**New Workshop!**
Parallel Workshops

choose one of the following:

Workshop 4A: Head, Hands and Heart
Mary Robson, Arts and Health Educator, CMH, Durham

Body mapping is a creative and therapeutic technique originally used by and with people living with HIV in Africa. It allowed individuals to express themselves and their experience of their condition by making an outline of their body and populating it with colour, symbols and text.

I have developed the idea for use in training and research. Participants will work in pairs to co-create a visual representation of shared experience. They will draw around each other’s head and hands on opposite sides of the same large piece of paper. Prompted by key questions, they will fill the image with their thoughts, in words and pictures. The resultant picture will be a complex map of the conversation.

A four-stage reflection will follow - looking at what happened, how people felt, what was learned and how it can be applied.

Workshop 4B: The Power of Chat

Dawn Williams, REFLECT Lab, Sage Gateshead

The aim of this practical session is to stimulate dialogue through games, discussions mapping and collaboration. It will provide an introduction to the Focused Conversation method which provides a structure for effective communication ensuring that everyone in the group has the opportunity to participate. We will spend time thinking about how the exercises could be adapted for use in different sessions.

15:15 - 16:15 Reflections on Workshops and Feedback 
16:15 - 16:30 Close and depart