Affective Digital Histories News

Your Quarters, Your Culture Telling the Cultural Quarter’s affective stories

Posted: Wed, 28 May 2014 19:08

The personal stories that we share routinely through social media often reveal how we think about, feel and use the spaces where they happen. Pieced together, these affective stories can add an important social layer to the history of the places we occupy.

As part of the Affective Digital Histories project Phoenix and the University of Leicester will team up with Cultural Quarter residents to explore:

What does it feel like to live in the Cultural Quarter today?

What kinds of affective stories would we have liked to hear from past, and tell future residents?

How do we want to tell our affective stories about the Cultural Quarter?

Workshop details

Date: Saturday 14 June 2014, 13.30 – 18.00pm

Venue: Phoenix, 4 Midland Street, Leicester, LE1 1TG

Activities: Imagineering, creative prototyping, role play

Free snacks and refreshments will be available. Participants will also receive complimentary cinema tickets and an invitation to join the "Affective Digital Histories – LCQ Residents" special interest group.

To book a place contact:

Giasemi Vavoula, University of Leicester

Gino Attwood, Phoenix

Affective Digital Histories: Re-creating Britain's De-industrial Places, 1970s to the Present: Online Collection

Posted: Wed, 07 May 2014 15:18

This collection contains digitised resources created and repurposed by the AHRC Affective Digital Histories project. The project investigates how community ties and bonds have changed, and continue to change, through periods of decline and regeneration of urban landscapes in some of Britain's post-industrial towns and cities. Leicester's Cultural Quarter and Glossop's Howard Town and Whitfield Ward are the foci of archival, digital and commissioned work undertaken by a team of academics at the University of Leicester and external partners.

The period from the 1970s to the 1990s form the backdrop to stories 'out there' that have not been told or researched for what they can tell us about people's emotional 'feel' for a place that they and their community might have been part of in the late twentieth-century of British manufacturing history. These stories form an important tapestry of information about how certain communities think about, feel and use physical spaces that have undergone regeneration in recent decades. In Leicester, for instance, these include dance halls, rave venues and alternative clubs for a variety of uses.

This project, therefore, aims to bring together existing research on historical and heritage sites that have fallen into disuse and/or disrepair and that are now undergoing some kind of regeneration by city and local councils. Having done this, the researchers and community participants will then work closely together to develop a digital archive of open and publicly accessible data that forms a repository of some of the stories of communities that used, worked and played in these buildings.

Creative Writing Commissions: Awards Made

Posted: Wed, 07 May 2014 10:56

Affective Digital Histories has awarded eight creative writing commissions. Congratulations are due to:

  • Divya Ghelani, 'An Imperial Typewriter' (flash fiction)
  • Sarah Butler, 'Textiles: Spinning Stories in Glossop's Mills' (flash fiction)
  • David Devanny, 'Five Multiplatform Poems for Leicester's Cultural Quarter' (poetry)
  • Mark Goodwin, 'Loss and Possibilities @ Glossop Mills' (poetry)
  • Carol Leeming, 'Love the Life You Live...Live the Life You Love' (choreopoem)
  • Pete Kalu, 'Five Glossop Cats' (radio play)
  • Irfan Master, 'For the Love of Something' (radio play)
  • Kevan Manwaring, 'Marginalia: Graffiti, Urban Coding and the Semiotics of the Street' (historical narrative non-fiction)

The writing commissions have been envisioned as a means of exploring the afterlife of industrial buildings in Leicester and Glossop, as well as the relationships between people who might have used them. The commissions will contribute substantially to the task of re-imagining urban history in the East Midlands.

The Sounds of the Cultural Quarter

Posted: Tue, 01 Apr 2014 19:28

A new project being run by the University of Leicester is investigating the sounds of the Cultural Quarter. It will be holding drop-in sessions at Phoenix Cinema and Arts Centre between 3pm-7pm on Thursday 27 March and Thursday 3 April.

Archival material about the Cultural Quarter/St George's area will be on display and the project is looking for volunteers to create historic and modern audio trails and soundscapes under the guidance of composer and sound artist Dr Andrew Hill of De Montfort University.

Forty years ago the Cultural Quarter was a very different place. It hummed with the sound of hosiery machinery and the bustle of industry; the NCP car park was Leicester's wholesale market; the LCB Depot was a bus depot; Athena was the Odeon cinema; most of the blocks of flats in the area were factories or warehouses. Over the years the sights, sounds and smells of the area have changed dramatically. We want to record how people feel about this area and how this might have changed over time - what sounds could you hear then and how does this compare with what you can hear today?

We are particularly interested in the sights, sounds and smells of the 1970s-1990s but would welcome people with memories from any era. In addition, on Thursday 3 April there will be sound walks around the Cultural Quarter throughout the afternoon.

For anyone interested in working with sound, or anyone just wanting to reminisce about the recent past, this is a great opportunity to explore the history of this fascinating part of Leicester.

History of area in the spotlight as University of Leicester commissions writers

Posted: Sat, 08 Feb 2014 16:28

Creative writers are being commissioned by the University of Leicester to help explore the public's connections with landmark post-industrial sites in the East Midlands.


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