We worked with Dr Liam Harte, University of Manchester, on a multi-stranded filmmaking project around his AHRC-funded project, My Country, A Journey: Migration, Creativity and Cultural Identity. This project brought filmmaking activities into the heart of the research: developing workshops with community participants, filming research outputs and creative productions and to investigate levels of engagement through sustained interviews with participants.
The films we produced have provided the project with an appealing and lasting legacy with a reach beyond the university. The films are archived on a project website created by Belle Vue for this purpose: mycountryajourney.org
This project has had demonstrable benefits for researchers, participants and audiences, both non-academic and academic. It has enabled me to evaluate and provide a documentary record of impact at the levels of cultural practice and cultural identity through in-depth interviews with selected workshop participants. This approach allowed more space for critical reflection than other, written forms of evaluation (e.g. questionnaires), and the addition of a digital component helped to capture the embodied responses of participants. Furthermore, the outputs are readily accessible to, and can be understood by, audiences of all levels; this should better facilitate the dissemination of my research findings beyond the academy.
Dr Liam Harte, University of Manchester