COP26 – A Paddle into Podcasts

COP26 – A Paddle into Podcasts

The delayed COP26 summit is to begin on the last day of October, amid the road closures and the rail strikes, the challenges of social distancing and – perhaps – of Scottish weather in autumn, over 30,000 attendees representing over 200 countries, businesses, NGOs and other groups will meet and attempt to advance the aims of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. (more…)

CCSE: A (half) Year in Review

CCSE: A (half) Year in Review

As the new academic year pick up pace, we find ourselves tentitively adjusting to something of a return to a more conventional office life. Albeit one in which venturing out in public my still result in failure to recognise someone you’ve known for years on account of only being able to see half of their face! Nevertheless, it is encouraging that we are able to look forward to some work taking place in ‘real life’ settings rather than in the ether. (more…)

A Second Summer of COVID, Nearing (New) Normality?

A Second Summer of COVID, Nearing (New) Normality?

For a few months now the summer sun – punctuated with episodes of deluging rain – has provided the backdrop for the continued gradual reopening of our social, sporting and cultural venues. In turn, these developments have presented us with the opportunity to begin returning to social and spaces as audience members, engaging with events in closer proximity with others than has been possible for quite a while.

Navigating the return to a state of near normality has been – and for some continues to be –challenging. If the preceding months have taught us anything, it has perhaps been to ‘expect the unexpected’. Yet, it is also clear that festivals and events of all stripes do not thrive on uncertainty. (more…)

Recovery, Repair, Renewal: Conference Video

Recovery, Repair, Renewal: Conference Video

At the beginning of June, CCSE had the perhaps slightly unexpected pleasure of one again hosting our annual conference virtually. As CCSE Director – Prof Gayle McPherson – pointed out in her opening remarks; at the time of our first virtual outing in May last year, there were few among us who believed we’d be gearing up for a second digital event just over twelve months later.

Home offices, dining, kitchen and side tables served as our venue once again and everyone bore responsibility for their own tea and biscuits. While far from the traditional conference offering, it is potentially the case that the widespread development of digital – and in future hybrid – events will be one of the longterm legacies of the pandemic response, ultimately enabling greater engagement with a wider audience. (more…)

Signs of ‘Normal’ Life? A Moment of Interest

Signs of ‘Normal’ Life? A Moment of Interest

As we tentatively emerge from our third lockdown in the course of the strangest of years it is possible to glimpse the ways in which our cultural lives might be returning to some kind of ‘normal.’ For example in recent days, we have seen the first steps towards the return of audiences and participants at sporting and social events. Mark Selby lifted his fourth World Snooker Championship crown in front of a capacity crowd in Sheffield; football has been played in front of fans, V&A Dundee welcomed visitors back with an exploration of the relationship between club culture and design: Night Fever, Designing Club Culture and some of Liverpool’s clubbers were able to dance a night away while simultaneously providing an opportunity for policy advisors and policy makers to test the waters regarding wisdom of enabling us to emerge from lockdown and make a return to our former patterns of cultural and social engagement. In these events – and the managed return to co-proximity and co-presence that they signify – it’s possible to recognise and return to what can seem as a former life (though, Brighton Pride has been cancelled for the second year running demonstrating that the route back to ‘normality’ is not free of obstacles). (more…)