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Matt White's 'The Tick and The Bomb' film premier

Posted on April 12, 2018 by

The Tick and The Bomb
17th April 2018
Market Hall Cinema, Brynmawr

The screening of the 18-minute short, The Tick and The Bomb commences at 7.00pm.

Following Matt White’s very successful residency in Newtown as part of Arts+Minds in Blaenau Gwent we are delighted to announce the premiere of his new film and to celebrate the launch of the Wales International Documentary Festival.

This topical, locally made film, featuring professional actors alongside residents from the Newtown
community in Ebbw Vale, will be premiered at 7.00pm in the Market Hall Cinema, Brynmawr on
Tuesday 17th April.

Commissioned by Arts+Minds for the Arts Council of Wales’s IPP (Ideas · People · Places) programme, The Tick and The Bomb is an ambitious impressionistic film, which uses sharp anecdotes gleaned from the artist’s immersive two-year residency spent working with residents from Newtown in Ebbw Vale and housing/communities staff from Tai Calon.

For futher details, please see Arts+Minds press release. The document is also available in Welsh.


Steve Johnson gave evidence to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee about radio in Wales

Posted on April 12, 2018 by

Radio lecturer Steve Johnson gave evidence to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee about radio in Wales. You can read Steve’s paper here or watch him in action during the first hour of the two hour Senedd TV session here.



Reflections on 'The End of Policing'

Posted on April 12, 2018 by

Professor Alex Vitale spoke at the University of South Wales on Friday 16th March 2018. The public talk was organised with the Cardiff branch on Amnesty International. Vitale’s book ‘The End of Policing’ is currently available for sale.

Policing in England and Wales has reached crisis point. Funding for all public services has suffered a dramatic 20% reduction in recent years, and the legitimacy of the police is persistently questioned. While the police used to enjoy a certain level of immunity from criticism, particularly from the Conservative party, that seemed to change following then Home Secretary Theresa May’s 2015 speech to the Police Federation, and her agreement to support the budget cut.

State led attempts to improve legitimacy tend to come in the form of enhancing accountability through the use of body cameras, efforts to recruit more diverse police officers, or promoting community engagement. However, such procedural reforms aim to make people feel better about policing, not change the outcome of policing, argued Professor Alex Vitale on Friday 16th March at the University of South Wales.

According to Vitale, these reforms are a distraction from the real problems with modern policing. It seems to me these are two distinct but related problems. Firstly, the militarisation of law enforcement has resulted in use of force becoming the norm. In the U.S., armed police killed 1,147 people in 2017. 718 of those were suspects in nonviolent offences including traffic violations. 149 were unarmed. High profile cases such as the killings of Walter Scott and Stephon Clark highlight the apparent trigger-happiness of the U.S. police. According to the Mapping Police Violence Project, police recruits spend 7 times more hours training to shoot, than training to deescalate situations.

While police in England and Wales are not routinely armed with lethal weapons, they are armed with low-lethality weapons such as Tasers. The use of Tasers by the police has risen steadily over recent years, with a 9% increase from 2016 to 2017, equating to a rate of 30 times a day. Between 2003 and 2016, there were at least 17 deaths linked to the use of Tasers. British police have also been criticised for the use of ‘close’ physical force, from handcuffing a compliant person, to using ‘kettling’ techniques while policing legal protests.

Secondly, the police are becoming increasingly involved in incidents that do not essentially require law enforcement. Vitale uses the examples of homelessness, mental health, sex work, drugs and youth ‘violence’ to demonstrate the proliferation of police involvement in the U.S., but such examples also transfer to the British context. To take just two examples, numerous councils in England have imposed Public Space Protection Orders on homeless people, resulting in fines which can result in prosecution if not paid, while the introduction of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders in the late 1990s were viewed by many as a way of criminalising normal youth behaviour. As criminologist Adam Crawford pointed out in 1997, we are witnessing the criminalisation of social policy issues. In the current climate of austerity, local authorities do not have the resources to manage the problems effectively. This results in the escalation of issues to an ‘emergency’ which are therefore dealt with by the police, who, given the first problem, have the power to use excessive force and are rarely satisfactorily held to account.

On the flip side of the same coin, we have long recognised in the U.K. the inability of the police to deal with issues of crime and disorder alone, and the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 created statutory provision for Crime Reduction and Community Safety partnerships. Members include the police, fire service, health and probation services, as well as other criminal justice agencies, and the voluntary and business sectors. In Wales, partnership working is viewed positively, and many practitioners praise their utility for filling gaps in required knowledge. However, the police often take the lead in partnership. The resulting police contact with vulnerable people, who are often non-criminal, leads to them entering the criminal justice system. This does very little to solve the problems they are facing.

Vitale calls for ‘The End of Policing’ in its current form of excessive use of force and attention to non-criminal issues. He sets out a variety of alternatives, which tackle the social inequalities that have led to the over-policing of social problems: homelessness needs to be tackled preventively, people with mental health problems need to be provided with fully-funded mental health services, sex work and drugs need to be decriminalised and regulated, and youth ‘violence’ requires community-based restorative justice. To be able to do this, we need to move away from ‘broken windows’ policing, which tackles those who engage in low level disorder punitively, with the understanding that without cessation it will lead to further and more serious criminality. However, that will require a significant change in habitus of the police.

You can watch the talk “here”:https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21ALjtscuoxO7u43o&cid=C2B574B3AFD7C7BE&id=C2B574B3AFD7C7BE%211067&parId=root&o=OneUp


Centre for Criminology Innocence Project Established

Posted on April 9, 2018 by

In October 2017 the Centre for Criminology Innocence project was established in collaboration with Cardiff University Law School.

Under the supervision of project leader Dr Cheryl Allsop students review cases where those convicted of serious crimes are claiming their innocence and have been unable to receive legal aid or fund lawyers to take on their case. On behalf of our clients students are looking to establish whether there is any new evidence that would give reasonable grounds for appeal and to investigate and respond to the questions clients raise in connection to their conviction.

Between October and December 2017 seven carefully selected undergraduate students and two postgraduate researchers completed several weeks of intensive training before commencing casework in January 2018.

Dr Bertie Müller's forthcoming invitations

Posted on April 2, 2018 by

Bertie will speak at the following events.

Bertie’s forthcoming commitments:

- AI Summit 2018 – Keynote tbc, London, 13-14 June 2018 – AI Paris – Keynote tbc, Paris, 11-12 June 2018 – Invitation to attend the Lords Select Committee – AI Report, London, 26 April 2018 – TIIC 2018 (Travel Insurance Industry Conference) – “AI for Travel Insurance: Opportunities and Risks”, London, 26 April 2018 – Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Conference: Improving system efficiency – Keynote “Responsible AI in Healthcare”, Salford, 25 April 2018

Recent Activities by Dr Bertie Müller

Posted on April 2, 2018 by

Bertie,s activities from December 2017 to March 2018.

Dr Bertie Müller gave the following invited talks and activities: – TechNova Artificial Intelligence in Financial Services – “Artificial Intelligence 101: Getting to Grips with the Basics”, London, 27 March 2018 – Marketforce live Webinar: Automation and AI: The Future of Financial Services, 26 March 2018 (on demand: https://live.marketforce.eu.com/intelligent-automation-and-skills-2018-banking-reality) – Big Data World 2018 – Keynote: “Responsible Use of Data and AI”, 22 March 2018 – Big Data World 2018 – Panel Moderation: “Building a code for AI ethics: What needs to be considered?”, 22 March 2018 – Big Data World 2018 – Panel Moderation: “How AI and machine learning are transforming Health & Care”, 21 March 2018 – Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence in Financial Services – “Towards Ethical AI and Responsible Use of Data”, 16 March 2018 – Borealis AI, Royal Bank of Canada Institute for Research – “The AI Landscape in the United Kingdom”, London, 19 February 2018 – European Commission Workshop on The European AI Landscape – “The AI Landscape in the United Kingdom”, Brussels, 18 January 2018 – Aberystwyth University Computer Science Seminar – “Challenges in Engineering Responsible Technology – Towards Ethical AI”, 4 December 2017

Dr Rebecca Williams presenting her forthcoming book on ‘Theme Park Fandom’

Posted on March 26, 2018 by

Dr Rebecca Williams returned from presenting her forthcoming book on ‘Theme Park Fandom’ at the prestigious Annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference in Toronto, Canada.


Wonderbrass released a video single of Dr Rob Smith’s compositon ‘Santes Dywynwen’s Suffle’

Posted on March 26, 2018 by

Wonderbrass released a video single of Dr Rob Smith’s compositon ‘Santes Dywynwen’s Suffle’. The track was recorded by a team of MSc Music Engineering & Production students led by Daniel Cantore and the video was made by BSc Sound Technology alumnus Joe Marvelly.


Steve Johnson gave evidence to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee about radio in Wales

Posted on March 26, 2018 by

Radio lecturer Steve Johnson gave evidence to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee about radio in Wales. You can read Steve’s paper here or watch him in action during the first hour of the two hour Senedd TV session here.


Dr Rebecca Williams presenting her forthcoming book on ‘Theme Park Fandom’

Posted on March 26, 2018 by

Dr Rebecca Williams returned from presenting her forthcoming book on ‘Theme Park Fandom’ at the prestigious Annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference in Toronto, Canada.


Prof. Florence Ayisi was presented with an ICON Award at the 2018 Africa Week

Posted on March 26, 2018 by

Professor Florence Ayisi was presented with an ICON Award “recognising exceptional contributions by individuals in promoting Pan-Africanism on a personal, national and global scale” at the 2018 Africa Week, hosted by The Arnolfini in Bristol.


Handing Down Time screening at Africa Week 2018

Posted on March 19, 2018 by

Professor Florence Ayisi’s documentary, 'Handing Down Time’ (2012), was screened on Tuesday, to a packed auditorium in the Arnolfini, Bristol, as part of Africa Week 2018 at UWE; an annual event celebrating African cultures and recognising the diverse cultures in Bristol.


Dr. Tom May contributed to latest report on effectiveness of safe injecting facilities

Posted on March 13, 2018 by

Dr. Tom May from the Centre for Criminology at USW contributed and provided evidence for the latest report of the Welsh Government’s Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse

In December 2017 the Welsh Government’s Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse published the 'Report on Enhanced Harm Reduction Centres’. Dr Tom May, research fellow at the Centre for Criminology contributed and provided evidence on the effectiveness of medically supervised injection rooms through his paper 'A Review of the Effectiveness of Medically Supervised Injecting Centres’.

CFP: Creating Comics, Creative Comics

Posted on March 12, 2018 by

University of South Wales: Cardiff (Friday 1st June 2018)

USW Cardiff: Comics Symposium 2018, Call For Papers

In association with Cardiff Indie Comics Expo.

The First USW Cardiff: Comics Symposium is interested in creator’s perspectives. It will explore comics and creativity and papers are invited which examine the practice of creating comics, and the particulars of storytelling in comics.

Does changing a panel, change the story? How might a medium’s materiality affect its construction and reception? Pudovkin stated that “In order to write a scenario suitable for filming, one must know the methods by which the spectator can be influenced from the screen.” (Pudovkin 2007: 1), and referring to adaption Weaver suggests this is, “the act of translating a story from one medium to another. To do so, you must be cognizant of the needs and storytelling techniques of each medium.” (Weaver 2012: 83). This symposium addresses these needs from the point of view of the creators involved in the production and creation of comics.

Papers are invited to discuss:

· Storytelling through comics
· Creating comics
· Comic form and Comics content
· Scriptwriting for comics
· Words to Image
· Words and Pictures
· Analogue and digital forms
· Comics and Transmedia
· Practice as Research
· Teaching through Comics
· Pedagogy and Comics

Proposals for twenty minute presentations are invited. Please send abstracts of 300 words to the symposium organizers Dr. Brian Fagence (brian.fagence@southwales.ac.uk) and Dr. Geraint D’Arcy (geraint.darcy@southwales.ac.uk) by the 6th April 2018.


Pudovkin, V., I. (2007) Film technique and film acting: the cinema writings of V. I. Pudovkin. New York: Bonanza.

Weaver, T. (2012) Comics for Film, Games, and Animation: Using Comics to Construct your Transmedia Storyworld. Abingdon, Oxon: Focal Press.

Rhiannon Chalmers-Brown Soapbox Science 2 June 2018

Posted on March 12, 2018 by

Turning waste gases into renewable products

Rhiannon Chalmers-Brown has returned to study her PhD at the University of South Wales, having initially studied BSc Chemistry at USW.

She was encouraged by her research supervisor Professor Richard Dinsdale to apply for the KESS 2 scholarship, as she has a keen interest in renewable energy and the environmental sector in general.

Rhiannon started her project, Biorefining of Waste Gases from Steel Manufacture, in January 2017 and hopes to complete her PhD in 2019.

Working with the Tata Steel plant in Port Talbot, Rhiannon aims to take waste gases produced during the steel manufacturing process and turn them into useful products.

Tata Steel asked Rhiannon to find a way of helping to reduce their emissions.

She said: “Steel manufacture produces a lot of waste gas which is being released into the atmosphere, in the form of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, and therefore contributing to global warming.

“We aim to use biorefining technology to form useful products from the waste gases, therefore capturing the carbon instead of simply releasing it.”

Rhiannon has built a reactor for the project entirely from scratch, learning how to use specialist computer software as well as gas chromatography to check the levels of gases it produces.

The next step of her research will be for the reactor to produce acetic acid, before optimising the process.

“I would definitely encourage more research students to apply for the KESS funding,” she added.

“It has been an enormous help in allowing me to carry out this research, and hopefully make a real difference to how waste gases from the steel industry are used in a more environmentally-friendly way.”

Lisa Barnard received a Fellowship of the RPS awarded by the Council of The Royal Photographic Society

Posted on March 6, 2018 by

Lisa Barnard, Reader in Documentary Photography at University of South Wales, received a Fellowship of the RPS awarded by the Council of The Royal Photographic Society, who’s Distinctions are recognised as measures of achievement throughout the world.


Prof. Paul Carr featured on Being Human blog in an interview about Popular Music in Merthyr Tydfil project

Posted on February 27, 2018 by

Prof. Paul Carr featured on Being Human blog in an interview about Popular Music in Merthyr Tydfil project. He discusses Recollecting Popular Music Memories in Merthyr Tydfil event and explains how he set up community partnerships with First Campus, Theatre Soar, Merthyr Tydfil Public Libraries, Peter Morgan Barnes, Gwaunfarren Primary School, Pantyscallog Primary School and DigiChemestry. This event was funded by a Being Human Small Award.

 

Prof. Paul Carr featured on Being Human blog in an interview about Popular Music in Merthyr Tydfil project

Posted on February 27, 2018 by

Prof. Paul Carr featured on Being Human blog in an interview about Popular Music in Merthyr Tydfil project. He discusses Recollecting Popular Music Memories in Merthyr Tydfil event and explains how he set up community partnerships with First Campus, Theatre Soar, Merthyr Tydfil Public Libraries, Peter Morgan Barnes, Gwaunfarren Primary School, Pantyscallog Primary School and DigiChemestry. This event was funded by a Being Human Small Award.

 

'Digital Storytelling - form and Content' publication

Posted on February 27, 2018 by

Our visiting Fellow and former Director, Karen Lewis, has a jointly authored chapter in Digital Storytelling: Form and Content edited by Mark Dunford and Tricia Jenkins and published by Palgrave.

For more information please visit the publisher’s website.

Professor Alex Vitale to discuss his new book 'The End of Policing' at the University of South Wales

Posted on February 27, 2018 by

On March 16th 2018, renowned expert on policing, Professor Alex Vitale will be visiting the University of South Wales to discuss his new book 'The End of Policing’, on the topic of police reform and abolition.

Repressive policing practices, highlighted by the 'Black Lives Matter’ movement, are not only confined to America: Britain has a long history of aggressively policing union strikes, lawful protests and marginalised groups, at odds with our stereotypical view of the friendly 'British Bobby on the Beat’. Debates on the problems of policing focus on improving accountability, diversity, training and community relations, and demanding more police numbers.

Prof. Alex Vitale argues that the problem with policing lies elsewhere.

Policing has become a tool for social control, at odds with community empowerment or social justice, aggravating the very problems it is trying to solve. For true transformation, the core of modern policing needs to be addressed, such as the embedded militarisation of law enforcement, and 'broken windows’ practices.

Join us to hear Prof. Vitale discuss his book 'The End of Policing’, with an opportunity for questions.
Book your tickets here

Copies of the book will be available to purchase at the event.
Book review