CIRI collaborates with a range of arts, media and policy organisations to deliver research with impact within and beyond Higher Education. Particular strengths are in drama, film, photography, music, and television with funded doctoral students working in all these areas.
Research is animated by a common commitment to examining and enriching place as culture and social geography. CIRI holds an impressive track record in enriching policy-making, for example through giving evidence to committees of the National Assembly for Wales and to parliamentary select committees.
Prof Florence Ayisi’s documentary film research in Cameroon and Zanzibar has not only been screened at numerous international film festivals but has had a transformative impact on women’s engagement in public life. Her films Zanzibar Soccer Queens (2007/2008) and Zanzibar Soccer Dreams (Florence Ayisi & Catalin Brylla, 2016) meant that the team once marginalised as ‘soccer hooligans’ are now valued ambassadors for Zanzibar.
These films gave them the
opportunity to travel and to promote a positive view of Zanzibar and Muslim
women in a series of international cultural exchanges.
Stories of Change is a major AHRC multidisciplinary project that aims to develop an imaginative approach to current and future energy choices. Public and political conversations about energy have stalled: we urgently need to revive them if we are to achieve the decarbonisation that climate change demands, and that the UK Government’s Climate Change Act commits us to. Working with local communities in South Wales and the Midlands as well as communities of interest around energy policy, the project explores our relationship with energy — how it has changed in the past, how we think about energy now, and how we envisage it in the future.
Television from Small Nations is an international research network in collaboration with the University of Aarhus, the European Broadcasting Union and broadcasters TG4 and S4C that addresses the specific challenges and opportunities facing television broadcasters and producers in small nations. For small nations the television industry performs a number of important cultural, political and economic functions: constructing cultural identities, contributing towards a democratic public sphere, and enabling minority-languages to thrive in the modern world.
However, several structural challenges shape their TV industries including less access to talent, fewer capital resources, higher production costs, and a smaller market for advertising and license fee revenue. The network directly addresses these imperatives by drawing together academic experts and key stakeholders in the television industry, and enabling them to identify the necessary conditions for sustained success in both cultural and commercial terms.
Dr Lisa Lewis is leads a four year project (October 2015 – September 2019) ‘Welsh and Khasi Cultural Dialogues: An Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance Project’ funded by The Leverhulme Trust. An interdisciplinary project in creative arts, it investigates the shared cultural history of the people of Wales and the Khasi people of Northeast India. The project uses creative arts practice, namely performance and film, to construct a ‘cultural dialogue’ between Welsh and Indian scholar-practitioners, one that investigates and responds to our historical relationship.
As central partners in the Wales Institute for Art and Design, CIRI enjoys excellent partnerships with galleries and museums. Dr Russell Roberts, for example, recently curated a landmark exhibition at the Science Museum (London) on ‘William Henry Fox Talbot: Dawn of the Photograph’.
Several CIRI researchers have been awarded artists in residencies, providing a physical and creative space to develop their research. Magalie Nougarede was based at National Botanic Garden of Wales (Sep 15 – July 16) where she explored practices in horticulture and art in order to research gardening as a political activity. Matt White is artist in residence in Newtown, Ebbw Vale as part of Arts & Minds, a project investigating how and whether contemporary art may be incorporated into the community regeneration process.