Participation in local mining communities


Sarah Hughes shares insights from her UEP PhD research in her post, Understanding cultural participation and value in former coalmining communities in and around Barnsley

One of the aims of the Understanding Everyday Participation (UEP) project is to strive towards a more democratic understanding of participation.  We are exploring ways in which decisions about cultural investment are made, and how they relate to particular forms and contexts for governance, nationally and in relation to different local cultural eco-systems in England and Scotland.

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Who Goes to Museums? (and who doesn’t?)


Lisanne Gibson explains how her Museum Studies teaching intersects with the UEP project in a video of a mini lecture of her research.
WHO goes to museums TP stats

Click here for slides

The figures tell us that museum visiting has been increasing.
According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Taking Part statistics, 51.8% of adults attended a museum once, in the first Quarter of 2014/15, compared to 42.3% in 2005/06 (the year the Taking Part survey began).

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Research and Communities: Effects in Glasgow

Ruth Webber is a PhD researcher on the UEP project. Currently based in Glasgow, Ruth’s PhD was made possible by UEP’s partnership with Glasgow Life. Her blog below reflects on her position as a researcher undertaking two ethnographies in Glasgow communities. As such she is involved in research that is connected to, and in dialogue with, the issues raised by the debate surrounding the controversial Glasgow Effect art project by Ellie Harrison. Continue reading

Breaking the Temple of the Culture – Well-being Relationship

Susan Oman gave her first keynote at Tate Liverpool last week. Below are some sections of the presentation and some thoughts on the plenary panel.

Culture is frequently described in terms of its relationship to well-being. Often, the implication being, that culture is only as GOOD as the quality of its attachment to well-being. Well-being is the patriarch, the most powerful and the one to do the serious work of policy, while culture is there to make us feel pretty. While playing with the ways in which the culture – well-being relationship is represented, the serious work of my provocation is to ask for a rethinking of this portrayal in order to move forward. To break not only the Temples of Culture, to cite the name of this event, but what seem to be sacred depictions of culture, as relative to well-being, in policy.


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A Santa-driven creative economy​

SANTA kids sleigh

Mark Taylor maps an alternative Creative Christmas Economy.

This week saw the release of NESTA’s interactive data visualisations of the UK’s creative economy, which acknowledge the diversity of UK’s creative occupations. For the festive season, we’ve mapped two interpretations of the Christmas economy using Census data on occupations. Continue reading

Miners’ Memorial Unveiling

On 22nd June I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the unveiling of Dodworth Miners’ Memorial which commemorates 288 local miners who lost their lives working in Barnsley’s coal mining industry.

Sarah Hughes pic of miners' memorial unveiling eventIMG_6849 (2)

IMAGE: Miners’ memorial unveiling event. Photograph by Sarah Hughes.

The project to develop a memorial was brought to fruition by the Dodworth Miners’ Memorial Fund and aimed to commemorate local miners who gave their lives to the industry and to raise awareness of the village’s industrial past.  The Dodworth Miners’ Memorial Fund group received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project, with members of the local community having raised the additional £6,000 which was required to help fund the miners’ memorial wheel.

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Introducing our PhD Researchers: Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes, UEPMy PhD research explores culture and the construction of civic identity in South and West Yorkshire in the industrial and post-industrial ages.  My project is being supervised by Dr Lisanne Gibson in the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of the Understanding Everyday Participation – Articulating Cultural Value project.

One of the key areas of focus for the Understanding Everyday Participation project is upon histories of cultural participation and governance.  This work aims to increase understanding of how modern perceptions of cultural participation and value have developed.  The research that I shall be undertaking in South and West Yorkshire will form a part of the historical strand of the wider Understanding Everyday Participation project.

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It isn’t every day you get to meet Jesus

By Susan Oman

As a kid, the murmur of the footie scores balanced the buzz of Saturday tea. The week’s only night of fast food was a feast: salt and vinegar crisps, sandwiched between 2 slices of thin white sliced. It felt a long awaited treat, hanging out with Dad watching Bullseye and other Saturday night schedule shockers.  Given the lack of interest in sport in our house, it’s remained a mystery why the scores were ever on, but the monotonous tone reflected its content to an eight year old, and as a result I’ve inherited Dad’s indifference to Sport. That is, apart from the excitement we shared watching ‘the arrers’. The enthusiasm of players and supporters alike used to fill the lounge; and we embraced the Sport’s great personalities, cherishing old favourites and cheering young upstarts. As with most childish things, I left my diet of crisp sandwiches behind and my cultural consumption expanded beyond Bullseye on the box; but I held on to hopes of one day going to the Darts.

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