Pre-conference events


July 03, 10:00 - 16:00

USB G.003 (Workshop & Events space)  

This body mapping workshop will be led by Linda Norris, Senior Specialist in Methodology and Practice at the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC), and Aynura Akbas, Research Coordinator at the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo. 

This workshop can accommodate a maximum of 25 participants.


2. PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - Sharing Urban Forest Stories: Forest walk and storytelling workshop in Gateshead Riverside Park

July 03, 14:00-16:00

Gateshead Riverside Park 

What: Guided forest walk and storytelling workshop with place-based creative prompts

For whom: A maximum of 25 participants. No prior experience or specific expertise is necessary. As the event will take place in an urban forest with steep hills and partially unpaved areas, this event is unsuitable for those relying heavily on mobility aids. The event will have verbal English instruction, but the creative prompts can be executed in any preferred (creative) language.

Where: Gateshead Riverside Park: meet at Pipewellgate Car Park, at the base of the Rolling Moon sculpture, Newcastle upon Tyne NE8 2EU

Description: Places mean different things to different people. Forested places, especially, have a long history of capturing people's imaginations. For most urban dwellers, urban forests are nature close to home. They offer countless benefits for the environment and human wellbeing and function as green networks. Quantitative data shows how urban forest places are used and who enjoys access to them, indicating that engagement with and access to urban forests and their benefits is unequal. But what we don't know is how to mitigate this unequal access. Allowances for a sense of belonging and psychological ownership are important factors in contributing to equitable access. So, what does it mean to belong in an urban forest place? How could a sense of belonging help make urban forest qualities accessible to different people? How can intersectional belonging contribute to equitable access to urban forest qualities across communities?

This special event is part of ongoing PhD research by creative practice on exploring how a sense of belonging contributes to equitable access to urban forest places across communities. The intersectional approach moves beyond binary thinking: we are more than just our gender, age, health status, or other typical markers used in research. Place-based narratives are unearthed through storytelling workshops with diverse communities, drawing on the idea that we all have stories to tell. Everyone is the expert of their own lived experience, and such qualitative and creative contributions can expand our understanding of how equitable access to urban forest places can be achieved. The resulting insights aim to contribute to the debate on environmental justice and urban forestry.

This special event would be such a place-based storytelling workshop. In two hours, participants will be taken on a guided forest walk through Gateshead Riverside Park, immersing themselves in the place. After a short introduction and initial exploration of the place, the majority of the time will be used to create urban forest stories, individually and collaboratively, through a series of creative prompts. Participants will be invited to use collected input and materials from the forest to record their stories in words, art and audiovisual representations. The event finishes with sharing the collected stories in the group, comparing experiences and taking note of emerging themes.

Keywords: Urban forestry, sense of belonging, human health and wellbeing, nature connectedness, ecosystem services, green equity, environmental justice, psychological ownership

3. PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - Finding hope in the past: Tracing the lives of our foremothers from Ancient Asia Minor to Hadrian's Wall and beyond

July 03, 14:00-16:00

NUBS 1.04

This practical workshop is aimed at (re-) discovering the past as a source of hope for political and social progress for women and other marginalised groups. Together we will interrogate those methods of historiography and memory studies which draw our attention to grievances and suffering, instead following those traces from the past which counter the hegemonic memory that history is mostly about 'the grim lives of women', in the words of Jerome de Groot.

 Drawing on Ann Rigney, Suzannah Lipscomb, and Adrienne Mayor, we follow the traces of two of our foremothers buried at Hadrian's wall: two Scythian warrior woman come from Asia minor to serve in the Roman army, taking their graves as a starting point for telling history in a hopeful way which returns the power of agency to feminine actors. We then turn to objects from the British Museum's Feminine Power exhibition, using these transcultural objects as points of departures for our own creative-historiographical takes on non-binary and feminine actors from the past. Writing on these objects and stories will open up perspectives for memory professionals, practitioners, journalists, researchers and laypersons to reappraise the positive potential that the past may have for social and political issues in the present.

4. PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - Communities of Change: reimagining how we visualize Advocacy Networks

July 03, 14:00-16:00

NUBS 1.13 

This workshop will lead participants through the current literature and diagrams on how transnational advocacy networks operate, and we will reimagine these through three participatory activities. Human rights issues or a regionally specific conflict will often develop a network of transnational advocates, through which attempts to influence the target state will be conducted. This workshop attempts to highlight the ways we conceptualize these networks and share other possible conceptualisation techniques. Participants will be asked to bring a laptop for accessing Miro, an online collaborative visualizing platform. Physical stationery will be provided by the workshop lead should participants struggle with this platform.

The inherited theory behind structures of power dictate how we 'see' these advocacy communities, and how the communities see themselves. When Laura Nader's powerful rallying cry to 'study up' encouraged anthropologists to study the powerful, she implicitly reinforced the concept of vertical lines of power for decades to come (Nader 1972; Stryker and Gonzalez 2014). Kate Nash points out that reaffirming 'the global' nature of human rights organizations can obfuscate their literal situatedness. A global movement is simply a local cause that moves: from a community to a parliament, from grassroots to organized, between languages and cultures, disciplines and sectors (Nash 2015).

International structures of change have been imagined in a variety of ways: as Deleuze and Guattari's rhizome (1980); as Weber's bureaucratic machine (1921); or simply as lines of connections around the globe. These are bounded movements in many cases, visually and spatially imagined. Through using different metaphors and shapes, this session hopes to reveal new facets of participants' advocacy networks.

ACTIVITY ONE: Adapting critical models of influence
The literature on influencing human rights contains several diagrams which have informed the metaphorical language around advocacy: namely, the spiral model (Risse, Ropp and Sikkink 1999), and the boomerang model (Keck and Sikkink 1998). Participants may point to discrepancies in their experiences which may help to create new ways of drawing these links.

ACTIVITY TWO: Routes of Change
Using as many virtual sticky notes as possible, participants will be invited to create flow diagrams of how their advocates intend to create change. This will naturally include gaps, which are often as inductive as the detailed connections. We may also expect to see previous suspect examples of change brought about by advocacy movements (as detailed through process tracing) as either the dominant model of understanding change, or as obscuring new avenues of change.

ACTIVITY THREE: Network Analysis
 Following the developments in Social Network Analysis (SNA) from historical social sciences (Grandjean 2021) this research will share examples of complex Xinjiang advocacy networks in the software, Gephi. These are produced by making links between organizations and individuals, and can reveal significant actors in the network by degrees of centralities. For this exercise, however, we will produce metaphorical rather than extracted networks, to observe the preliminary connections observable within an advocacy network.

5. PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - Walking the Walls: Retrieving, Reimagining, Rewriting the City – a Performative Creative Workshop

July 03, 14:00-16:00

TFDC 2.16   


'Only thoughts reached by walking have value' – Friedrich Nietzsche

The medieval boundaries of the city of Newcastle form a ring whose upper limit sweeps south of the University, from Gallowgate to New Bridge Street, along a line which encircles the city centre. To the west stand medieval towers, walls, and gates but further east these urban defences are overwritten by car parks, offices, fast-food cafés, and intersected by a motorway. To walk this line is to recognise the formation of the successive folds and layers out of which the modern city of Newcastle is made. Our purpose in doing so is to recover and reimagine the city in our own writing.

In this workshop we will explore the urban landscape through some of the core concepts to come out of the field of psychogeography: the study of how places affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. The practice of dérive, (French for drift) which encompasses attitudinal, attentive, and totemic walking, is a performative and subversive technique for experiencing urban spaces in the hope of provoking social change and strengthening community.

Through these sensory, radical wanderings we will reflect on how our experience of environments shapes us, how we might shape them and how by harnessing our powers of deep observation in relation to our surroundings, we can shape our writing.

Our walking will act as a lens, examining and exploring the city as an assemblage of texts, voices, figures, objects, structures, and spaces operating within communities at different scales. It will enable us to 'zoom in' on minute details in the environment and step back out to our immediate location, the city at large, the region and the wider set of cultural and social relationships it inhabits.

Our writing will enable us to reflect on what the poet Gwyneth Lewis called 'the deep congruence between the structure of the physical world and … art' and involve ourselves in 'an entanglement of diverse elements and strands, using stories of people and things' identified by poet and geographer, Tim Cresswell.

These techniques will help us to challenge what might otherwise become our collectively passive view of the shared spaces that we inhabit, to resist the dislocation of our social worlds and our physical spaces. Close reading of this urban 'text', with its convergence of the medieval and the modern can galvanise us into a radical remembering and reimagination of the city.

The workshop will combine discussion, walking and writing exercises. It is open to everyone who is interested in the urban landscape and would enjoy writing in response.

We can accommodate disability.


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