Women rewriting the city

Some impromptu soldering at 'Rewriting the Hack'

Some impromptu soldering at ‘Rewriting the Hack’

The CCN+ women-only event ‘Rewriting the Hack‘ took place at the Core, Newcastle on the 21st and 22nd November. Against a backdrop of post-industrial cities rebranding themselves as digital cities, this event invited a team, including musicians, artists and academics, to develop a historical and contemporary view on the role of women in industry. The two-day event was curated and produced by  digital artist Shelly Knotts (University of Durham) and curator Suzy O’Hara (CRUMB, University of Sunderland).





Digital storytelling for urban redevelopment

Urban Redevelopment

The starting point for the CCN+ Storytelling for Development pilot study was a challenge and opportunity related to participatory design of the built environment. In a recent report on architecture and planning in the UK, created by project partners Farrells architect planners, current design processes were criticised for not being participatory enough in representing the needs and aspirations of local residents, or respecting the history and cultural heritage of areas subject to re–‐development.

This project aimed to take a more holistic view of places and their identities and to draw on knowledge of the past in planning for the future, using digital storytelling as an empowering and pro–‐active method of community engagement in the planning process for urban redesign. Read the report…


Rewriting the Hack

21st to 22nd November
The Core, Newcastle, UK

Rewriting the Hack is a Female Only Hackathon exploring the theme of ‘Industrial and Post Industrial North East’. The two day event will examine the Hackathon format as a site for producing collaborative, interdisciplinary art strategies and exploring issues surrounding diversity through an increasingly popular model of creative production. Participants will gather to access and create with archival materials relating to the North East region’s industrial heritage, and also with current, open data sets, which represent our post industrial present. The event will challenge perceptions that Hackathon events, as well as histories of our industrial past and our scientific and technological present, are male dominated.

Further information about the CCN+ Inhabiting the Hack programme can be found at http://inhabitingthehack.github.io/.

CCN+ in the news

CCN+ funded research by academics at Robert Gordon University was recently published on the Democratic Audit – Scotland website at bit.ly/1OZVIE8. Here, Graeme Baxter, Elizabeth Tait, Peter McLaverty, and Iain MacLeod show that young people can be mobilized politically, given the right circumstances, but that questions as to the longevity of the engagement achieved are as yet to be answered.

Meanwhile, Spanish speakers may be interested to read about the recent CCN+ trip to Mexico on the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s blog at http://gacetapoliticas.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/el-experimento-de-las-redes-sociales.html?m=0.

Digital Culture and its Dis/contents


Over the last two weeks (2-19th Oct 2015) Dr. Helen Thornham has been leading a team of scholars in Mexico on a collaborative project entitled ‘Digital Culture and its Dis/Contents’. The visit to Mexico marks the first stage of a year-long collaboration between scholars in the UK and Mexico, co-funded by the British Academy and the EPSRC Communities and Culture Network+, which aims to explore the utility of ‘digital culture’ as a global concept and to investigate alternatives. The collaboration focuses on specific issues around digital cultures in both the UK and Mexico, in order to ask, through a reciprocal exchange that is underpinned by digital activities, what an investigation into the lived realities of digital culture reveals for the values inherent in digital connectivity as well as what interventions are possible for the future.

12111940_506975398578_5898749760879817267_nSome of the key themes discussed were participation and digital technologies, the politics of technologies and methods, the epistemology of digital culture and the im/possibility of action. The collaboration draws out the global connections through the sharing of expertise, knowledge and methodologies, to develop a shared but distinct critical approach. Alongside the academic meetings and events, UK scholars participated in a number of media appearances, for radio, University TV and local newspapers.

12106911_506975378618_4889609553526585237_nThe project is enabled through collaboration between Dr. Helen Thornham (University of Leeds), Dr. Edgar Gómez Cruz (RMIT, Australia) and Dr. Raul Trejo Delarbo (National Autonomous University of Mexico). It comprises two events in Mexico (at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, 2-9 Oct 2015, and at ITESO, Guadalajara, 12-15th Oct 2015) and a reciprocal visit from Mexican scholars, in July 2016, to the University of Leeds.



List of Scholars:

Dr. Helen Thornham (University of Leeds)

Prof. Caroline Bassett (University of Sussex, UK)

Dr. Edgar Gómez Cruz (RMIT, Australia)

Emeritus Prof. Kevin Barnhurst (University of Chicago)

Dr. Nathanial Tkacz (CIMS, University of Warwick)

Mr. Tom Jackson (University of Leeds)

Prof. Raul Trejo Delarbe (National Autonomous University of Mexico)

Dr. Dorismilda Flores Márquez, (Autonomous University of Aguascalientes)

Dr. Gladys Ortíz (Autonomous Metropolitan University)

Dr. María Elena Meneses, (ITESM, Santa Fe ́)

Dr. María de la Luz Garay (National Pedagogic University, Mexico City)

Dr. Delia Crovi (National Autonomous University of Mexico)

Dr. Rebecca Padilla (Autonomous University of Aguascalientes)

Dr. María Magdalena López de Anda (ITESO)