The Olympic Games as a Weak Excuse

The Olympic Games as a Weak Excuse

The Aim of my research as a PhD student over the last two and half years has been to examine how the Japanese and Tokyo governments, through sports diplomacy, will use the Olympic Games as a soft power tool. The phrase ‘the Olympic Games as a Weak excuse’ stems from the data collection and coding process of my research to examine the effectiveness of Japans soft power strategy in using the Olympic Games as a soft power tool. The organisation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been an incubator of narratives, an Olympic Games like no other. This is because of the Emergence of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) that led to a global pandemic, resulting in the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (more…)

Football is Nothing Without Fans – Football, Theatre & COVID19

Football is Nothing Without Fans – Football, Theatre & COVID19

Football is Nothing Without Fans – Matt Busby

Bellshill’s finest football thinker, Matt Busby, predicted the uncanny experience of people watching cultural and sporting events take place in empty spaces during the Covid-19 pandemic.

I’m currently writing a book about theatre in-the-round for Methuen Drama (Bloomsbury) and the pandemic has caused me to re-think my introduction to this monograph entirely. My view is that the recent ‘presence of absence’ of the spectator in live streams from stadia and performance spaces has re-emphasised the value, and therefore the influence of audiences on cultural and sporting organisations. (more…)

‘Au revoir’ FESTSPACE & CCSE (But Hopefully Not An ‘Adieu’!)

‘Au revoir’ FESTSPACE & CCSE (But Hopefully Not An ‘Adieu’!)

This Thursday, I complete my last day at UWS before I move back to France to start a permanent job as a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Amiens. As I have been a member of CCSE over the last two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow on the FESTSPACE project, I thought that it would be a good time to pen some reflections on my time here. In this post I’ll discuss the role it has played in my trajectory as a researcher and share some of the outcomes of the work that I undertook with the CCSE team. (more…)

Recovery, Repair & Renewal: The role of arts and culture in the future of urban places

Recovery, Repair & Renewal: The role of arts and culture in the future of urban places

The Centre for Culture, Sport & Events is delighted to invite you to our virtual annual conference. The event ‘Recovery, Repair & Renewal: The role of arts and culture in the future of urban places’ will take place on Wednesday 9th June 2021.

The Centre for Culture, Sport and Events, CCSE, undertakes research, consultation and knowledge exchange work aligned with our four key themes:

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Post-Pandemic: The Cockroaches of the Cultural Sector

Post-Pandemic: The Cockroaches of the Cultural Sector

During the 1980’s and 90s, when social enterprise was an innovative concept in Scotland, Strathclyde Regional Council, Objective 3 Partnership and the Scottish Centre for Regeneration were surprised when Fablevision board members  thanked them for turning down applications for funding on the grounds that we were ‘not sustainable’.  Having funding bids rejected forced Fablevision artists, like most other creative practitioners, to develop other, entrepreneurial business models that would allow them to continue their practice without compromising their vision or values and we thanked them for forcing us to be independent. Over the ensuing decades, Fablevision inherited furniture from Strathclyde  Regional Council when they shut up shop; computer equipment from Objective 3 Partnership when they closed and co-created  learning materials on the demise of the Scottish Centre for Regeneration.  The ‘unsustainable’ small cultural social enterprise outlasted all the big beasts. Like other small cultural organisations, we were light on our feet – able to adapt and pivot creatively and meet the new requirements of whatever adverse social/economic/political circumstances presented. There is a joke in community based cultural practice that practitioners of these arts are like ‘cockroaches will be after the nuclear holocaust – they will be the only living things to survive’.    (more…)

The Creative Road to Recovery

The Creative Road to Recovery

I can’t quite believe it’s been a year since I took a seat at my dining room table and mastered the virtual meeting world to join Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts Team for a vital discussion: what are the needs of the Creative and Cultural Sector in Renfrewshire?

Conversations of concern and despair from arts professionals across the team were the focal point. After discussions with local organisations, artists and seeing the impact the pandemic was having on the arts nationwide, it was clear – something radical had to be done and done quickly. We had to try and support the creative and cultural sector in Renfrewshire, giving local artists and organisations a chance to adapt, to recover, renew and to keep spirits up, raising hope through the arts, creativity, and culture. (more…)