Creative Industries Festival 2021

Recordings of events are available below

In 2021, the creative industries face a series of urgent challenges. How can cultural activity recover from the long period of dormancy enforced by lockdown? What kinds of relationships will audiences build with producers as culture shifts radically online? And how can creative institutions respond to calls for greater diversity both in terms of their output and their workforce?

Oxford Brookes Creative Industries Research and Innovation Network is proud to present a month of virtual seminars, workshops and discussions which engage with these and many other vital issues facing today’s cultural creators. The Creative Industries Festival 2021 brings together practitioners, policy-makers and researchers from a range of sectors including music, film, the visual arts, and high-tech artificial intelligence. Brookes researchers and students will have opportunities to bring their work to a wider audience, to build new relationships between the University and its external partners, and to help shape the future of creativity in the UK and beyond.

Woman on a theatre stage

Week 1: The Future of the Creative Industries

Sessions this week are future-focussed and feature key local and national policymakers including the Creative Industries Federation and Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds. Brookes students will discuss their futures in the creative industries, and technological developments in artificial intelligence will transform how we think about work.

Creative Industries Festival 2021 programme: Week 1
Date Event description Details
Tuesday
4 May
12.00 - 13.00

The Creative Industries Federation presents: State of the Nation

As we continue to feel the impacts of the pandemic, the Creative Industries Federation takes a look back at what has led us to where we are now, and what the future might have in store for the creative industries; the challenges, but more importantly, the opportunities to reignite; to power us out of recession, drive economic growth, create jobs and make our communities happier, healthier places for everyone.

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Wednesday
5 May
12.00 - 13.00

OxLEP presents: How can our globally-recognised city and county’s creative and cultural assets help drive a vibrant post-Covid-19 creative economy?

Given that one of the first effective Coronavirus vaccines was created in Oxford, how can our world-leading creative and cultural assets build on this global spotlight to create consumer confidence in returning to 'normal life'?

  • John Newbigin OBE - London Mayor's Ambassador for the Creative Industries & Founder and first Chairman of Creative England
  • Guy Gadney - Founder & CEO of Charisma.ai and Chair of the Board at the Old Fire Station
  • Dr Victoria McGuinness, Head of Cultural Programming and Partnerships, Humanities, University of Oxford

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Wednesday
5 May
17.00 - 18.00

What can I do with an arts degree?

A student-led discussion about their self-perception of what makes an Arts graduate employable in the creative industries and what the steps to success look like post pandemic. Students from the School of Arts in conversation with Lucy Turner, School of Arts Employability Champion, and Lucinda Whiteley from Novel Entertainment.

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Thursday
6 May
12.00 - 13.00

How can mentoring build back stronger and more resilient creative industries?

This panel, chaired by Dr Judie Gannon from the International Centre for Coaching & Mentoring Studies (OBU), will interrogate current patterns of mentoring across the UK's creative industries.

  • Louise McAward-White (BFI)
  • Tamsin Russell (Museum’s Association)
  • Carys Nelkon (Arts Emergency)

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Friday
7 May
11.00 - 12.00

Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds' alternative vision for the creative industries in the UK

Dodds, the first female shadow chancellor and Labour MP for Oxford East, will set out her alternative vision for the future and importance of the creative industries in an interview with Dr Hannah Yelin (Senior Lecturer in Communication, Media and Culture).

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Week 2: Media and Celebrity

Journalists, artists and a Hollywood actor come together to explore what it means to live, work and create in the public eye. Key topics for discussion are gender, disability and racial diversity within the creative industries. 

Creative Industries Festival 2021 programme: Week 2
Date Event description Details
Monday
10 May
12.00 - 13.00

The creative industries in the era of STEM: prominent journalists address the challenges

By recognising the push by government and educational bodies toward the STEM subjects, this Q&A panel discussion aims to evaluate the role of the creative industries in a rapidly changing landscape.

  • Aimee Farrell (Vogue, Financial Times, The Observer)
  • Hannah Kane (Editor in Chief Phoenix Magazine)
  • Kayla Jacobs (The New York Times, Glamour, Conde Nast Traveller)
  • Hosted by Dr Antonia Mackay (Teaching Fellow in English at OBU)

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Tuesday
11 May
12.00 - 13.00

Who runs the world? Girls, leadership and women in the public eye

How do girls respond to the ways women leaders are represented in the media, and how does this deter girls from aspiring to be the leaders of the future? The panel will discuss these questions and identify the role of media gatekeepers in the potential solutions to the urgent problem of the gender leadership gap.

  • Ruth Wye (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
  • Faraz Osman (Executive Producer, Gold Wala)

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Wednesday
12 May
12.00 - 13.00

'Crip Humour' with Aaron Williamson

In this highly topical and controversial paper, Aaron Williamson challenges the medical and social models of disability through the lens of 'crip humour'. This provocative position is a way to overturn and survive the normative perceptions of disabled people.

Born in Derby, England, Aaron Williamson's work is informed by his experience of becoming deaf and by a politicised, yet humorous sensibility towards disability. At a University of California San Diego lecture in 1998, Williamson coined the term ‘Deaf Gain’ as a counter-emphasis to ‘hearing loss’.

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Thursday
13 May
12.00 - 13.00

Diversity in blockbuster movies: Actor Arti Shah in conversation with Govind Chandran (OBU Film)

Arti Shah was diagnosed with pseudoachondroplasia aged two. This is a big word to describe a small person: 4ft to be exact. However Arti has never allowed her stature to hold her back. Her acting credits include Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015); Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) - making her one of the few people to have a role across the three most profitable Hollywood franchises. Arti joins us to discuss her career and to call for greater diversity both in front and behind the camera.

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Thursday
13 May
17.00 - 18.00

Mind the gap: Opportunities for engagement with the creative industries

This discussion panel examines how potential opportunities for engagement with industry could be developed for students, for research active and other staff to keep their knowledge current, co-create course content and expand professional skills development through real world/time experience.

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Friday
14 May
11.00 - 12.00

Celebrity Culture Club presents: Queer contributions to the creative industries

The Celebrity Culture Club brings together media and cultural studies academics with folks working in the media and culture sectors. Our panel of queer creatives will celebrate queer contributions to the creative industries, past and present, as well as discussing the role of queerness in celebrity culture. We will also debate the passage of trends from queer subcultures into the mainstream, and moments of queer resistance and joy.

  • Amy Zing, founder of Sink the Pink and Margate Pride
  • George Heyworth, one half of cabaret legends Bourgois & Maurice
  • Simon Foxall, fine artist
  • Dr Bridget Dalton, commercial semiotician
  • Dr Jon Ward, KCL

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Week 3: Visual Culture

Showcasing Brookes innovative research in the creative industries, this week invites practitioners from across the visual arts to explore how we see the world in 2021. There are also panels celebrating the local cultural sector in Oxfordshire, including the county’s vital art galleries and museums.

Creative Industries Festival 2021 programme: Week 3
Date Event description Details

Monday
17 May
12.00 - 13.00

OxLEP presents: What is a creative and diverse county?

A panel discussion on how we can strengthen and ensure a diverse and economically-stable creative industries sector in the county, recognising what is needed to support current and future aspirations of working within the creative economy and supporting those with the best ideas to realise their potential.

  • Lucinda Whiteley - Co-founder and Creative Director Novel Entertainment
  • Lucy Shaw - Head of Partnerships and Programmes, and Programme Director for Oxford Cultural Leaders, Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM), The University of Oxford

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Tuesday
18 May
12.00 - 13.00

We are all photographers now, we just don’t know what that means…

In a world where everyone who owns a phone carries a camera in their pocket, the photographer has had to redefine their role and that of their photographs. This panel discussion will attempt to bring together the commissioned with the commissioner to explore the role that the photographer and the photograph has in building brand and editorial identity within the creative industries in the 21st century.

  • Fiona Hayes (Conde Nast, freelance Creative Director)
  • Gaby Cove (Orange, Vogue International, Conde Nast)
  • Grant Scott (Senior Lecturer in Photography, OBU)

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Wednesday
19 May
12.00 - 13.00

Co-curating: a dream, not a nightmare. Christiana Payne and Victoria Partridge in conversation

What happens when two people from different institutional backgrounds get together to plan an exhibition? How can they learn from each other? And what are the pitfalls to avoid? Payne and Patridge’s recent co-curated exhibition, Dreams and Nightmares (2019-20), will serve as a case study.

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Thursday
20 May
17.00 - 18.00

Workshop: Dragon versus monkey: A kaijū introduction to peeragogy

Peeragogy is an interconnected collection of techniques for peer learning and peer production. In this workshop, we put peeragogy into action as we break into small groups to explore the topic through a range of interactive activities. Hosted by Joe Corneli, Institute for Ethical AI.

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Thursday
20 May
19.00 - 21.00

OBU Documentary Club: Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay (2018) and Q&A with director Grant Scott

Bill Jay (1940-2009) was a photographer, writer, curator, magazine editor, lecturer, public speaker and mentor. He established the first exhibition space dedicated to photography in the UK with the Do Not Bend Gallery, London and was also the first Director of Photography at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Director Grant Scott will join us to watch and discuss his documentary Do Not Bend which is a warm and insightful tribute to Bill Jay’s life and legacy.

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Friday
21 May
12.00 - 14.30

Brookes cross-disciplinary showcase: 6 scholars from different fields share their work relating to the creative industries

A session testifying to OBU's research and practice in the creative industries which stuns with its topical variety, intellectual depth and international scope. From literature to philosophy and the visual arts, film, media and sonospheric investigations, this panel is a taster for some of the interesting work taking place across the University.

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Week 4: Sound and Music

This week features an extraordinary range of contributors from local Caribbean artists and musicians, to Brookes researchers and archivists, to internationally successful singer-songwriter and actor Kate Nash. It will feature debates about gender equality and structural discrimination against artists of colour all set to a lively soundtrack of blues, pop and carnival culture.

Creative Industries Festival 2021 programme: Week 4
Date Event description Details
Monday
24 May
12.00 - 13.00

Why Paul Oliver matters: the Blues and African American music

Paul Oliver is regarded as one of the most important and influential scholars of African and American music. Dr Christian O’Connell and Michael Roach will discuss the significance of the Paul Oliver collection to demonstrate why he matters in 2021.

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Tuesday
25 May
12.00 - 13.30

“Yuh cyah play mas if yuh fraid powder” - Caribbean legacies and creativity in Oxford

Caribbean cultural forms, arts and intellectual thought have contributed substantially to British and European societies. Yet their impact is often not acknowledged and their political potential is undermined, because post/coloniality and raciality are not only historical legacies but they constitute contemporary creative industries. This roundtable highlights experiences and projects of Caribbean creatives in Oxford.

  • Euton Daley (Unlock the Chains Collective)
  • Amantha Edmead (Kuumba Nia Arts)
  • Haroun Shah (Nostalgia Steelband and Carnival Club)

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Tuesday
25 May
17.00 - 18.00

The impact of the pandemic on listening and sound-making: panel with Paul Whitty

Paul Whitty (Professor of Music and Head of the School of Arts) chairs a panel discussing the impact of the pandemic on musicians, artists and event producers featuring contributions from artists, local venues and arts organisations including Oxford Contemporary Music.

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Wednesday
26 May
12.00 - 13.00

Q&A with Patrick Farmer and Rebekah Alero introducing their Dandelion Project

Alero and Farmer will be speaking about The Dandelion Project and Archives, a platform created by Alero for experimental artists of colour, with a focus on audio and visual materials.

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Thursday
27 May
17.00 - 18.00

Gender and sexism in the creative industries: Q&A with actor, singer and songwriter Kate Nash

With a platinum-selling album and a BRIT Award under her belt, Kate Nash is known across the music, TV and film industries as a forthright songwriter, unabashed feminist and distinctive screen presence. This session will focus on how Nash has navigated different industries and kept her politics intact. Chaired by Maxie Gedge, musician and champion of gender diversity in the music industry.

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