This article has been copied from the Stories of Change website.
March 2014 – February 2017
Dr Joe Smith has been awarded a £1.47M large grant on the project titled Stories of Change: Exploring energy and community in the past, present and future related to the AHRC’s Connected Communities theme.
About the project
The Stories of Change project aims to help to revive stalled public and political conversations about energy by looking in a fresh way at its past, present and future.
- To listen to and give a platform to more diverse, often unheard, voices
- To mobilise change through research and the arts
- To innovate in use of digital media
Stories of Change is organised around three mini research projects, or ‘stories’ and one cross-cutting project ‘Energetic’ that supports these. Story 1: Policy Story: Demanding Times gathers a novel mix of communities of interest around energy policy, and generates new accounts of energy policy and politics past, present and future. Story 2: Industry Story: Future Works is rooted in the English midlands, and seeks to unearth fresh accounts of the long relationship between energy, industrial making and landscape, and explores where it might go next. Story 3: Everyday Story: Life Cycles engages with the role that energy resources have played in shaping communities and everyday life in south Wales.
About the team
The project is being led by Dr Joe Smith of The Open University’s Geography Department. Joe is also leading Story 1 ‘Demanding Times’. Renata Tyszczuk of the University of Sheffield School of Architecture leads Story 2 ‘Future Works’, and Karen Lewis of University of South Wales leads Story 3 ‘Life Cycles’. The team also includes Rosie Day (University of Birmingham, geography), Axel Goodbody (University of Bath, literature), Bradon Smith (University of Bath/The Open University, literature), Julia Udall (University of Sheffield, architecture), Nicola Whyte (University of Exeter, history) Zdenek Zdrahal and team (Open University Knowledge Media Institute) and our core-team arts organisation partners Peter Gingold (Tipping Point) and Yvette Vaughan-Jones (Visiting Arts).
Kate Foster and Claire Pençak have written this article to highlight the ways that they as artists (visual and dance/choreographic), have been engaged with land use and in particular the development of Land Use Strategy for Scotland through the Borders Region Pilot. The article specifically responds to a previous piece on ecoartscotland which asks “What can the arts contribute to a Land Use Strategy for Scotland?”
Some of the really central challenges for artists working with land use issues are highlighted by Kate Foster and Claire Pençak including the discipline and practice specific languages used by environmental scientists and land managers as well as the dominance of Geographical Information Systems technologies. Kate Foster and Claire Pençak’s projects demonstrate some of the best approaches that can be learnt from the past 60 years of ecoart and the longer history of art.
Previous posts on this topic have pointed out that…
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Fascinating interview with David Wagstaff from The department for energy and climate change (DECC) talking about our energy generation.
- I guess we take energy for granted because there haven’t been any problems with it recently
- People only notice things when they can’t get them or can’t afford them.
- Energy is an issue for people growing up in poverty but if you’re talking to people relatively comfortably off they just use it ….and don’t really think about the consequences
- Every single street in the country has some kind of electricity sub-station – but I very much doubt that many people know how it works
- When people get actively involved in making energy….then obviously it gives you much more awareness of how difficult it is
- 80% of the energy we use is for transport and heat and yet if you have a debate about it….people will usually be talking about electricity
- The things that you can use for sustainable energy (the sun, wind, wood etc) are readily available around the world….you don’t have to be a wealthy country
- This is a global problem and will require a global solution