Connected Communities showcase
In March, the Know your Bristol team was invited to take part in the AHRC’s Connected Communities Showcase. This event featured many of the projects funded by the Connected Communities programme in the last few years and provided an opportunity for us to share our outcomes and impacts with other researchers and community organisations working in similar areas.
There were several talks and panel discussions over the course of the day. But the most interesting part was wandering round the stands and finding out what other projects had got up to. From creative research into community gardening to exploring the interwoven (pun intended) social histories and cultural practices of Scottish basket-weaving, the breadth of topics and partnerships was amazing. It was also interesting to see the different approaches to community mapping projects, with people utilising digital technologies such as QR codes and GPS tracking of walking routes through smartphones.
But the day was also a chance for us to show some of the wonderful material and stories that we have managed to obtain through Know your Bristol and how they are being used. As such we had a laptop on hand to show people the Know Your Place website and how the oral histories have helped enrich this burgeoning resource. We even got interviewed as part of the AHRC’s documenting of the day.
David Willetts, in his keynote speech, talked about how much he values research from the arts and humanities and his role as an advocate for them in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. But you only needed to look around you in the exhibition hall to see the importance of such projects and the effect that they have on both researchers and the communities involved.