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Creative Cultures and Context

The Creative Cultures and Context research centre brings together colleagues from a variety of disciplines – from Architecture to Theatre – to conduct historical and theoretical research about art, cultures, and interconnecting lives across Europe, China, Latin America, and beyond.

A quote from Richard Rushton Professor of Film Studies

Colleagues in Creative Cultures and Context advance critical and theoretical understanding of the contemporary arts which spans and informs a range of themes, including:

  • Identity, feminism, gender, sexuality, race
  • Sensory perception in art, dance, and design
  • Global politics and the Arts
  • Transnational currents in art, design, film, and theatre
  • Mobilities research, borders, and migration
  • Theatricality in art, film, and theatre

The Cultures Podcast

Listen to LICA's series of podcasts on culture, art and life.

View our latest publications

Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive (CMDA)

Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive (CMDA) is about expanding our knowledge and understanding of how audiences relate to and remember the experience of cinemagoing. How is ‘going to the pictures’ remembered? How may these remembered experiences be expressed? In speech? In writing? Through a range of creative practices? What can such expressions tell us about how our memories of ‘going to the pictures’ figure in our daily lives?

Scrapbook photos from the Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive (CMDA)

The project’s starting point is the materials gathered in the course of ‘Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain’ (CCINTB), all of which are housed in Special Collections at Lancaster University Library. This valuable resource had previously been available to view only for those able to visit Lancaster in person.

Engaging 21st-century developments in digital humanities, Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive expands academic and public knowledge of these key aspects of the cinema experience. The entire CCINTB Collection is in the final process of being accessioned, catalogued, and digitised. Among the project’s principal outputs is a freely available website incorporating the CCINTB Collection and a range of other historical materials related to cinemagoing in interwar Britain and the cinemagoing experience more generally.

The CMDA website is accessible and valuable to anyone with an interest in cinema history, cultural history, cultural memory, and even family history. Searching the digital archive is designed to be intuitive, and the website is easy to navigate for everyone from first-time users of online archives to seasoned researchers.

In addition to the website, a number of public events and activities – including seminars, screenings, workshops and artists’ residencies – were held throughout the duration of the project, to help showcase the contents of the collection. Full details of these activities were publicised through the project blog and Twitter feed, with more to take place over the coming year.

View the CMDA Archive

CMDA affiliated colleagues:

The CMDA project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Read more about the CMDA project

LACE3: experiment/explore/enquire

LACEis Lancaster University’s Arts and Creativity unit for experimentation, exploration, and enquiry. It is an agile research and consultancy cluster that draws together expert interdisciplinary teams to undertake work across and within sectors. While the arts and creativity are the group's core focus, their work brings together experts from psychology, history, organisational science, sociology, computer science, and other disciplines as required, to generate productive perspectives.

LACE3 is led by Professor Judith Mottram, forming core teams with colleagues from within the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts and other departments at Lancaster University, as well as with external specialists.

Enquiries about working with LACE3 can be directed to Judith Mottram.

Teams are put together in response to the needs of clients or research opportunities, drawing on our wide networks of contacts in many disciplines throughout the UK. Consultancy work is carried out within the frameworks of the Lancaster University Consultancy Service supported by the infrastructure and frameworks of the University.

LACE3 affiliated colleagues:

Art of Recovery

Professor of contemporary arts Emma Rose led a research team from Lancaster University to collaborate with refugee survivors of torture, in partnership with the charity Freedom from Torture, Manchester, UK. The project used qualitative participatory co-design research to explore the potential benefits and challenges of artmaking in supporting recovery from extreme trauma.

Image of multicoloured pastel crayons

The project used qualitative participatory co-design research to explore the potential benefits and challenges of artmaking in supporting recovery from extreme trauma.

The project identified six key findings from research data; that included ten participatory art workshop sessions working with 12 participants, their interpreters and therapists as support, data from the WHO 5 Wellbeing Index, post-workshop interviews, and a concluding reflective review panel. The project produced 3 journal articles and an edited volume of essays.

This ‘toolkit’ developed from the Art of Recovery project, is presented as a series of cards offering suggestions for setting up participatory art workshops in the context of recovery with refugees. The toolkit is designed to be used by a range of participatory art groups convened by informal or professional caregivers, community support or self-help groups, or researchers working in conjunction with therapists.

Freedom From Torture

Download the Art of Recovery Toolkit (111KB)

Latest News

Four posters of past Cultures events