Culture and Community Researchers’ Network: November 2012

Presenters:
Dr Aneta Podkalicka: “Youthworx: generating social value through cultural production and enterprise”
Kerrie Schaefer: “Post-capitalism, community and performance in the work of MED Theatre and Theatre Modo.”

Dr Aneta Podkalicka: “Youthworx: generating social value through cultural production and enterprise”

Abstract: This presentation focuses on an example of Melbourne-based youth media project called Youthworx. Youthworx uses media production and training to engage marginalised young people in learning and skill development. The project runs a series of accredited media courses, workshops and one-on-one mentoring sessions, alongside a small-scale media production enterprise. Drawing on our long-term ethnographic research conducted at the project’s site in Brunswick, I will explore some of the values and tensions inherent in the operation of this initiative for social change. I will also reflect on our research methodologies to discuss their context-specific strengths and limitations.

Aneta is a research fellow at Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology, where she is researching social innovation across the areas of media and material culture studies.

Kerrie Schaefer: “Post-capitalism, community and performance in the work of MED Theatre and Theatre Modo.”
The term ‘community’ is ubiquitous, ambiguous and contested. This presents problems for fields of practice that are community-based. Established in the latter half of the 20th century, the field of community-based theatre and performance requires urgent attention due to the frequent invocation of community in other practical, political and governmental contexts. In this paper I will explore the critical  foundations of what cultural geographer Nigel Clark calls ‘the other community’ (2011). I will then apply these alternative theories of community (see, for instance, Nancy, Agamben, Blanchot) in a case study of MED Theatre, a community theatre based on Dartmoor in the south west of England, and Theatre Modo, a social circus creating large-scale celebrations in north east Scotland. This study forms part of a larger research project, supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship, which examines how community is ‘enacted’ in theatre and performance practices, and how these ‘performances’ of community relate to broader social, political and economic processes, and the critical questions and debates surrounding them.
Kerrie Schaefer is a senior lecturer in Drama at the University of Exeter where she co-ordinates (with Fiona Macbeth) an undergraduate and masters programme in Applied Theatre and Performance. For more on her current research see: http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/drama/staff/schaefer/research/