Creative Industries Festival 2023

Joyful Resistance in the Creative Industries

Joyful Resistance in the Creative Industries

Welcome back to the third Creative Industries Festival, organised by the Creative Industries Research and Innovation Network (CIRIN) at Oxford Brookes University. Our slogan this year is “Joyful Resistance”!

Between 9-16 May, over 50 artists, performers, researchers and professionals enliven 20 interdisciplinary talks, workshops and performances around the themes of All-embracing Creativity, Climate Crisis, Impacting the Future, Social Justice and Space(s) for Resistance. We also give you short snippets of the thought-provoking research our network members are engaged in through our dedicated “Research Pills” section.

For the first year we feature in-person alongside online sessions!

Join us to explore and celebrate joyful resistance through collaborations, community work and creative interventions across advertising, architecture and the built environment, art, carnival, cinema, creative employment, Extended Reality (XR), gaming, literature, mentoring, music and sound art, publishing, storytelling and theatre.



people at a dress up event

Programme of events

Opening Session

The Creative Industries Research and Innovation Network Turns 3!
Tuesday, 9 May, 12:00 – 13:00
John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre

Join us to celebrate and reflect on three years of the Creative Industries Research and Innovation Network (CIRIN) with Trevor MacFarlane of Culture Commons and Fran Sanderson of NESTA. Chaired by Professor Lucy Mazdon, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences.

cheesecake and glass of water on a tabletop

All-embracing Creativity

The sessions highlight creative research and practice that celebrate diversity and inclusivity.

Neurodivergence in the Creative Industries: Talk and Workshop from the Presenters of the Square Hole Podcast
Thursday, 11 May, 12:00 – 13:30
John Henry Brookes Executive Suite

In collaboration with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Research, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange Network, we bring you a workshop by Lorna Allan and Jhinuk Sarkar, producers of Square Hole - a podcast investigating neurodiversity, employment and the creative industries.

Flamboyant Nature: Musical Performances and Discussion
Thursday, 11 May, 14:00 – 15:30
John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre

"From deep in the earth to our most expansive cosmos - we are alive and fabulous - queer nature abounds time and space!" Musical performances and artist discussion on performance, our relationship with nature, and how natural cycles can support sustainable creativity, featuring queer artist Priestx, singer/songwriter/producer NAALA, and DJ, performer and educator Thempress.

Age on Stage: Applied Theatre, Older Adults and Shame Resilience
Thursday, 11 May, 16:00 – 17:00

In collaboration with the Healthy Aging and Care Network, this session by artist facilitator/researcher Georgia Bowers shows how theatre can challenge ageism and ageist-induced shame.

The Conversation with the Blues Podcast (live): Paul Oliver and the Study of the Blues in the Field
Tuesday, 16 May, 16:00 – 17:00

Blues performer and educator Michael Roach and blues scholar Christian O'Connell lead the conversation on Paul Oliver's famous trip to the US in 1960 and the legacy of his book, interviews and archive.

Person drawing a head of a model

Climate Crisis

Responsible and passionate creators discuss their role in raising awareness about and actively fighting the climate crisis.

Animated Docs for Social Resistance
Tuesday, 9 May, 13:30 – 15:00

A climate refugee forced to move from her home village to the big city in order to take care of her newborn baby as it struggles with microcephaly - filmmaker Maria Stanisheva screens and discusses her latest animated documentary series alongside her earlier creative work for social resistance.

Creative Solutions for Sustainable Urban Environments
Tuesday, 9 May, 15:30 – 16:30

Can we transform our built environment to a nature positive one? Join our discussion with architect Iva Stanisheva, Creative Director and co-founder of Kite Creative Helen Gordon, and Project Manager and Lead at Ridge and Partners Oliver Bannister, in collaboration with the Brookes Sustainable and Resilient Futures Network.

wilfflowers on a field

Impacting the Future

What is the future of creative work and research in their capacity to shape the cultural, social, political and economic realities we live in? Join us to find out! 

The Importance of Writers, Publishers and Broadcasters for a Democratic Society
Tuesday, 9 May, 17:00 – 18:00

Literary agent Julian Friedmann ponders what it means to live and create in a "democratic society", how publishers, broadcasters and writers see Internet's potential for open access, and what the ultimate mystery of storytelling is.

Beyond academia: Research Impact and Relationship Building in the Creative Industries
Wednesday, 10 May, 14:00 – 15:00
John Henry Brookes Executive Suite

How can academics in the Creative Industries make meaningful societal contributions and generate impact beyond academia? Learn from practitioners, researchers and creatives: Mariza Dima and Isobel Ward (Brunel University), Natalie Wall (King’s College), Helena Erikstrup and Maria del Pilar Blanco (University of Oxford), Rachel Barbaresi (Oxford Brookes University) and Junie James (ACKHI – African Caribbean Kultural Heritage Initiative).

Shaping Our Field, Shaping Our Future - Academic Career Interventions and the Experience of Becoming Editors of the Creative Industries journal Makings
Wednesday, 10 May, 15:30 – 16:30
John Henry Brookes Executive Suite

Journal publishing can be more creative and empowering than you might think. Early career researchers Kateryna Sivak and Vincent Obia share what it was like to become co-editors of the Creative Industries journal ‘Makings’ and to collaborate with academics and practitioners, including filmmaker and educator Saba Karim Khan.

AGM and Expert Advisory Board Meeting
Thursday, 11 May, 10:00-11:45

JHB Exec Suite

Our Expert Advisory Board, featuring Alan Bailey (Co-Artistic Director, OXIFF, LIVIFF & Bailout Productions), Faisal Hussain (Art Director, True Form Projects CIC), Chloe Straw (Managing Director, AudioUK), Amy Turton (Project Diamond Manager, Creative Diversity Network), Lucinda Whiteley (Creative Director, Novel Entertainment), Hannah Jasper (Live Events Producer, And Above Ltd), Helen Simpson (Managing Partner, BADER) and Euton Daley (Artistic Director & Producer, Freelance), meets again as we discuss current work and plans for the future.

Creative Mentoring
Tuesday, 16 May, 12:00 – 13:00

How do we encourage the next generation on their path to creative employment? In collaboration with the Children and Young People Network, this session highlights the importance of mentoring through the work of Samuel Conley of the Creative Mentor Network, mentor Ellen Nicholson - Campaigns Specialist at Sanofi, and the visionary behind Brookes Creative, Lucy Turner.

Tree LED lights

Social Justice

Creative interventions that call out injustice, challenge established structures of power and inequality, and give voice to marginalised artists and communities feature prominently across this theme. 

Serious Games: Joyful Resistance through Art and Creative Technology
Wednesday, 10 May, 17:30 – 18:30
John Henry Brookes Executive Suite

Artists, researchers and the industry team up to reveal the potential of Extended Reality (XR) and creative technology for social innovation, change and accessibility. Mariza Dima (Senior Lecturer and Impact Lead for Arts & Humanities, Brunel University) and Eric White (Reader in American Literature, Oxford Brookes) talk cultural heritage, digital platforms, political resistance and educational games for social justice, in this session chaired by the Artificial Intelligence and Data Network.

Creative Advertising with a Social Purpose
Friday, 12 May, 13:00 – 14:00

What does coffee have to do with battling homelessness? Ary Ganeshalingam, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Change Please, talks change-inspiring marketing campaigns for purpose-led organisations which support humanitarian causes.

Disruptive Dialogues: the Creative Legacies of Dambudzo Marechera
Friday, 12 May, 16:00 – 17:00
John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre

Artistic production drives resistance to oppressive structures of power in a project-in-progress, funded by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities. Dr Tinashe Mushakavanhu (University of Oxford) and Dr Niall Munro (Oxford Brookes University) draw on Zimbabwean writer Dambudzo Marechera's legacy to generate architectural interventions and poetry by people with experience of homelessness.

Still Breathing - A Live Performance by Unlock the Chain Collective and Q&A
Monday, 15 May, 18:30 – 21:00
Union Hall

"That fear of mistaken identity, Wrong place/wrong time, Born in the wrong skin/colour, Evidently." Sponsored by the Centre of Research in the Arts (CoRA), a highly visual production which fuses spoken word with music, song and dance - a result of engagement with activism during 2020.

Belonging - An In-person Participatory and Creative Arts Activity
Tuesday, 16 May, 13:00 – 16:00

"Belonging. A sense of place. A sense of home. A sense of pride. But when/how Do we know We Belong?" A workshop exploring people, place and identity with storyteller Amantha Edmead, theatre director Euton Daley and visual artist Anne Griffiths.

Wall art

Space(s) for Resistance

We seek out grassroots movements and communal formations in the creation, preservation and celebration of alternative arts and culture.

Community Ownership in the Arts
Monday, 15 May, 12:00 – 13:00

How can we safeguard our precious independent cinemas, live music and other venues vital for developing new talent and building creative communities? Micaela Tuckwell (the Ultimate Picture Palace in Oxford), Richard Daws (Komedia Arts in Bath) and Matt Otridge (Exchange live music venue in Bristol and Our Own Venues project) reflect on cultural organisations going into community ownership.

Diversifying Audiences: Community Cinema
Monday, 15 May, 17:00 – 18:00

Community cinemas in unexpected spaces, from indigenous villages to building facades and screenings in the peripheries, reach out to new audiences that would otherwise be excluded. This international conversation is led by Yuli Rodríguez (Festival de Cine de Barrio), Emiliano Escoto (Festival de Cine de Barrio), Takumã Kuikuro (documentarist and festival organiser), João Pacca (Festival VideoRio), Trish Cashen (Poppadom Pictures) and Geron Swann (Film Oxford).

Cowley Road Carnival and Community Engagement at Oxford Brookes
Tuesday, 16 May, 17.30 – 18.30

Join the conversation on plans for Cowley Road Carnival 2023, the festival's future and its history grounded in African Caribbean celebration of freedom and resistance. This is an interactive session with researchers, practitioners and event organisers across Brookes and Oxford!

Wall mural

Research Pills