Power, Space and Cultural Change

Impact

We work from a model knowledge exchange and co-production rather than of knowledge transfer and one way ‘impact’.  We recognise that academics have much to learn from activists and para-academics, and so we do not work with a model of impact that believes academic work precedes change.  We understand that activist work often precedes academic work by several decades, and that as academics we can provide time, resources and spaces in which we can work with others to document what is being worked on in the field so others can learn from it, and to help others think through what they are doing and do it better.  We work with a range of people outside the academy including farmers, businesspeople, NGOs, social enterprises, activists, policy makers and government.

Our work includes:

Kathy Burrell's work revolves mainly around Polish migration - the creation of web-based general public and school curriculum materials for the Runnymede Trust on post-war and contemporary movements; arts based consultancy work, including checking the pre-publication manuscript of a bestselling Penguin novel on post-war Polish migration; and ongoing public and community engagement activities on Brexit mobilities and EU nationals, including events with charities and politicians, an after dinner talk for the European Movement and a piece on air travel and migration after Brexit for The World Today. 

Andy Davies works with a variety of charities and public bodies in the UK and overseas to co-produce research that engages the public and community organisations in aspects of historical and postcolonial geography. Research Andy has been involved in has included the production of community maps and walking tours of the 1919 race riots in Liverpool, youth radio documentaries about the 1981 and 2011 riots in the UK, public marches to celebrate the publication of George Garrett’s biography, and heritage mapping and planning in West Bengal. He has worked or is working with organisations such as Writing on the Wall and KCC Live in Liverpool/Merseyside, the European Observatory on Memories in Barcelona and is a researcher on the Hugli River of Cultures project. 

Bethan Evans works in partnership with activists and para-academics to explore ways in which activist knowledges, practices and histories can inform and shift dominant problematic academic understandings of fat bodies, and with artists to explore creative ways to provide alternative representations of fat bodies that centre fat people's experiences and challenge the abjection of fat bodies. For example, Bethan is working with artist and activist, Stacy Bias, to explore the experiences of airline passengers who identify as fat, including the production of an animated film by Stacy Bias that was showcased at Tate Liverpool and The Bluecoat Gallery as part of DADAFEST 2017, alongside a public event on the relationship between fat activism and disability activism. Bethan also lead the first UK seminar series on Fat Studies which included activists and academics as co-organisers and has also co-authored a chapter on ‘Reframing Fatness: Critiquing Obesity’ with para-academic and fat activist Dr Charlotte Cooper for the Edinburgh Companion to Critical Medical Humanities Along with colleagues, she has also worked in collaboration with KCC Live, a youth led community radio station in Knowsley to produce a documentary about the riots in Liveprool in 1981 and 2011. 

Levi Gahman is engaged in grassroots mobilizing with rural communities throughout the circum-Caribbean whose efforts are focused on resolving land conflicts, increasing food security, empowering women, and mitigating climate change. Recognizing that overcoming global development challenges and generating impact neither advances via top-down edict nor can be measured by institutional metrics, the focus of Levi’s work is rooted in place-based community organizing. Levi also conducts research in the American Heartland on masculinity, settler colonialism, and capitalist social relations as means towards reducing alienation and bringing about more harmonious gender and race relations. 

Peter North works with a range of community and social economy organisations  in Liverpool to understand how we might create economies that enable people to live with dignity given climate crisis, austerity and Brexit  sustainable social and solidarity economies focusing on how we want to live, not profit maximisation.  He works with Alan Southern and the Heseltine Institute to support the development of the social economy at a city region level.  He led discussions in the city about a possible bid to be European Green Capital, and continues to engage with the city’s future post Brexit. 

Kim Peters’ work on global ship routeing reaches beyond the academy where she has engaged with agencies including the Ministry of Defence, Maritime Coastguard Agency and Marine Exchange of Alaska to examine the successful management and stewardship of the oceans. This aims to help understand and better develop modes of ship routeing for marine safety and security. Beyond this, Kim also draws back more widely on her socio-cultural training and is currently working with Camping and Caravanning Club as they develop policies and approaches towards diversity.  

Mark Riley is working with a range of environmental organisations in looking at how better to communicate with farmer and land managers in engaging them in environmentally sensitive farming practices. He is currently working with the River Ribble Trust on how they draw on the knowledge of farmers in developing their interventions and how they might effectively engage social learning amongst land owners in safeguarding riparian environments. With colleagues at the University of Nottingham (funded by the  Alzheimer’s Society), Mark has recently been working on a project aimed at addressing the issues surrounding the design and delivery of dementia-friendly services in rural communities. The research seeks to understand the barriers and drivers to the development of relevant, robust, reliable and accessible services that make a difference among older rural families affected by dementia.   

Morag Rose promotes critical engagement with the everyday landscape through a range of participatory creative walking methods. Her impact is best illustrated by her work with The LRM (Loiterers Resistance Movement), a psychogeographical collective she founded in Manchester in 2006. This has been the vehicle to develop an academic-artist-activist praxis exploring issues around public space, regeneration, social exclusion, radical histories and the right to the city. This includes facilitating a monthly “First Sunday” public communal wander as well as making original contributions to local, national and international events, festivals and exhibitions. The LRM celebrated their tenth anniversary with a three month programme “Loitering With Intent: The Art and Politics of Walking” at The Peoples History Museum, the national museum of democracy. 

Jennifer Turner is involved in consultancy on the architecture and design of the custodial environment, particularly for new-build prisons in England and Wales. She works with architects, managers and operators within Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service and beyond to appraise and improve the physical environment to foster more effective experiences for staff and prisoners. Jennifer is passionate about engaging vulnerable groups in the research process and has delivered workshops to train prisoners as researchers in HMP institutions. 

Geraint Rhys Whittaker has worked with numerous third sector organizations across all scales. This has included consultancy work on a project which aims to develop new ways of working with the most disengaged young people in Wales to respond to the challenges posed by the growing presence of the far-right in the UK and Europe. This particular project was presented to Politicians and other UK wide organisations at a conference at the Houses of Parliament as well as to the Welsh Government. Geraint’s most recent research into national affective atmospheres has resulted in the creation of a short-documentary which explored the relationship between political protest and the role of music. This recently won a Castell Award at the 2018 Barcelona International Film Festival.