(r)agency? Lived Practices of Anger

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: School of English Literature,Language an

Abstract

(r)agency? The Creative Practices of Anger is a multi-disciplinary network, drawing together a team of early-career researchers, working in a number of different fields - both creative and critical - and a series of research activities and case studies that together form a research project on what the role and potentialities of anger might be in communities. Drawing on a range of methodologies and including cross-diciplinary approaches, the project will undertake research with a number of communities, representing different ages and locations, experiencing rage and anger (of different kinds for different reasons). The research asks questions about what brings people individually, or collectively, in community, to experience their anger in productive or transformative ways and create, what Bourdieu terms, new "cultural capital".

The activities and analyses that make up this project, have been framed by the investigators' existing research interests, their disciplines, their critical (and in some case creative) practice, and their engagement with communities. Bringing this network of scholars together enables the exploration of patterns of relating/being with anger across the different communities and contexts. It does this by understanding the role of anger in acknowledging and transforming social and structural injustices across a range of communities and contexts. It is hoped that new understandings about how anger can be reconceptualised as a positive force will come about through bringing together these diverse experiences through the proposed knowledge exchange events and final community reflection and consolidation event.

Activity title:

Performing Rage: young women and their expression of anger - led by Dr Helen Limon

In Angry Tongues: creative practices of anger in politicised poetry, song writing and performance - led by Dr Geoff Bright

Narrating Injustice Artfully: how anger towards animal cruelty and species loss is enacted and told through story - led by Alex Lockwood

Sikh-ing Understanding: expressions of 1984 - led by Dr Jasjit Singh

The Angry Brigade: service veterans and the Aden conflict - Led by Community Co-I Colin Hutchinson with Dr Limon and Alex Lockwood

Planned Impact

A range of groups and individuals from non-academic communities will benefit from (co)creating, and engaging with this project. This includes the people in the engaged communities, representatives from public services and policy makers, community artists, those concerned with community development and members of the public. Each research activity engages with a specific community through creative consultation, facilitated conversation and public discussion. The following lists sets out the component elements of the project and the communities with which that project will engage.


"In Angry Tongues: creative practices of anger in politicised poetry, song writing and performance" - community leaders, political activists, members of political groups and performers such as The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, The Miners List, and the union, Unite.

"Performing Rage: young women and their expression of anger" - young women and girls, librarians, teachers, social workers, youth leaders, and representatives of the social justice network convened by Newcastle University. The holders of the archive, Open Clasp, will also benefit by engaging with material that they have not seen as an 'archive' as asset with the capacity to support new work.

"Narrating Injustice Artfully: how anger towards animal cruelty and species loss is enacted and told through story" - Members of the animal and eco-activist communities in the UK and USA who are looking for effective methods of non-violent protest. Creative writers and visual artists who are seeking to engage with anger and rage in their own work.

"Sikh-ing Understanding: expressions of 1984" - participants and audience at Saffron Mic, an annual Sikh community event in London. Dr Singhs participation in this event will be filmed and the work will be presented at the project's final community event in Newcastle.

"The Angry Brigade: service veterans and the Aden conflict" - British Service Veterans, and the network of veteran support agencies linked with Forward-Assist. This includes other veterans charities in the UK and abroad, policy makers, social support services and organisations concerned with social justice.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Angry Young Women photographic exhibition 
Description Seven digital self-portraits plus text by young women participating the (r)agency project reflecting on their feelings about rage and anger 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Change in feelings and capacity to reflect and talk about their own anger 
URL http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ncla
 
Title Count to ten 
Description A short film made by Kate Sweeney taken from the Open Clasp archive and conversations with young women for the Blyth LGBT group. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact password: ragency2 
URL https://vimeo.com/159607932
 
Title Film short exploring the theme: In Angry Tongues: Creative practices of anger in politicised poetry, song writing and improvisation 
Description Filmed by Steve Pool, In Angry Tongues is a digital work made by Dr Geoff Bright in conversation and performance with three artists Mal Finch, singer songwriter; Tony Goodwin, poet: and Mick Beck improvising musician. The film explores the relationship between affect, politics and aesthetics as an aspect of communal beingness and are part of a collaborative practice being developed by Bright and Pool which includes three long from films that combine film/performance/talk as a form of "critique that is one with its enactment" which occurs "at the level on which bodies think more actively and feel more thinkingly, towards acting differently together" (Massumi, 2015 106) 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Bright and Pool have a paper accepted at the International Conference of Qualitative Inquiry at the University of Illinois and will present it it in May 2016. Bright and Pool also have a paper accepted at the AHRC Connected Communities ECR conference that they will present in March 2016 
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQGM0wzmvOI&feature=youtu.be
 
Title I know what it is and it is a crow 
Description 16 minute film about species loss 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact None recorded 
URL http://zoomorphic.net
 
Title Seven human-animal stories 
Description A collection of seven short stories about creatural lives. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact none recorded to date 
URL http://zoomorphic.net
 
Title The Illustrated Soldier - Book Hack Animation 
Description Three short animations using amended images from three contemporary picture books for children featuring the military and/or military conflict. The animations have an audio track featuring the voices of the ex-service men who participated in the workshops. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Impacts to date is the commissioning and use of the same methodology and technical team in new work with the veteran support agencies with female ex-service veterans and women service personnel. 
 
Title Young Sikh artists speak about rage 
Description A small group of young Sikh artists in conversations with Dr Jasjit Singh talk about how their anger has provided the material and motivation for their creative work. Filming by Jacob Fairless-Nicholson 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact None to date 
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuHQKwR9y8g
 
Title logo design (r)agency 
Description A young designer was asked to create an image (logo) for (r)agency based on her understanding and research of the contemporary social construction of and discourse around "rage" 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact The young designer felt that her professional practice had been developed as a result of engaging with the ideas around rage and the requirement to respond to such an ambiguous prompt. 
URL https://ragencyproject.wordpress.com/
 
Description Our primary finding has been the around the value of having a community PI fully engaged with the project. This direct relationship of equal partners has nuanced the dynamic of our relationship when working with the community. We intend to write a group paper out this looking a the theme of "We, them and us" for publication in the coming 12 months.
Other key findings from this project will be updated in the coming weeks.
Exploitation Route Our collaborative creative practice(s) with the community PI, Forward-Assist, such as the "Book-Hack"might well be used by other research projects seeking a fast-track to impact and genuinely content-full co-creation.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy

 
Description The Angry Brigade The findings from the work with veterans has led to a change in the status of the community co-investigating organisation, Forward-Assist who have won a national award from the Centre for Social Justice for their work and are now members of a national partnership of service providers to military veterans. They are developing gender-specific services for female ex-service personnel together with the PI for this project, Helen Limon. An application to the AHRC for research activity underpinning the development of this new service in in preparation. This is verbatim from the community Co-I Colin Hutchinson from Forward-Assist: 'Forward Assist veterans engaged fully with the Illustrated Soldier Project. The 'book hack' involved veterans from the Navy, Army and RAF looking at the portrayal of the military in Children's Picture Books. The books included The Conquerors by David McKee, A Child's Garden: A Story of Hope by Michael Foreman and The Enemy by Davide Cali, Serge Bloch as well as a range of sticker books portraying the military. The veterans were enthused that their opinions in regard to how the military was depicted in the books, was given a voice. The views and opinions were forthright and it was also enlightening as each book brought forward real stories of how they coped and reacted to deployment on operations throughout their military careers. Opinions were divided about each of the books but the facilitation of each session enabled all opinions to be heard. The book that divided opinion the most was A Child's Garden of Hope but the frank views expressed about the book enabled Debbie Beeks from Seven Stories to re-evaluate her thoughts on a children's book that she had used extensively in her work with children. At times during the sessions the stories brought forward through reflection on each of the books were cathartic for each of the veterans taking part as they developed a rapport that enabled them to share their experiences in a safe environment. Throughout the project the veterans also found it enlightening to be introduced to Seven Stories and as some are absent parents it gave them an opportunity to engage with the Centre along with their children. Forward Assist was delighted to be engaged in the project and the recordings and animations made as a result of the project were gratefully received. We look forward to screening the animations for all that took part at a later date. The delivery of our findings at The NAWE Conference was also a privilege to be part of as the voice of the veteran was also heard by an audience which would not necessarily engage with veteran opinions. The major change that has occurred through the project is that veterans have been able to express an opinion and had the opportunity to engage with two organisations; Newcastle University and Seven Stories that they would otherwise not have had the opportunity to work with or indeed think about working with. This may seem trivial to the outside world but when living in a hostel style environment it has enabled the veterans to look at where they are and reassess what hostel style environment it has enabled the veterans to look at where they are and reassess what they want to do to move on. ends.' More items under this heading are in preparation
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Blyth LGBT at Seven Stories National Centre for Children's Books - Book-Hack 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A change in awareness of the significance of children's picture book in carrying cultural and social messages. One participant reported realising how good picture books are with difficult subjects and that they are "not just for kids".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Ex-service veterans at Seven Stories National Centre for Children's Books 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact one full-day workshop at Seven Stories involving a group of military veterans, education outreach staff of Seven Stories and 3 third-sector organisations working on the design of support services for veterans
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.thebookseller.com/blogs/illustrated-soldier-and-book-hack-316530
 
Description Military Veterans workshop at Avondale House in Newcastle 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 2 half-day workshops at Avondale House, a supported accommodation unit for ex-military veterans.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description NAWE conference 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation with Forward-Assist and Seven Stories National Centre for Children's Books at National Association of Writers in Education on Illustrated Soldier Book-Hack
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.nawe.co.uk/writing-in-education/nawe-conference.html
 
Description Presentation made by PI Geoff Bright to an open seminar in the Education and Social Research seminar series at MMU, 7th Oct 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Project PI gave a presentation on both AHRC projects in which he was involved (Working with Social Haunting and R/agency) to an open seminar hosted by the Education and Social Research Institute at MMU. A mixed audience attended
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation to national Geography teachers conference, Manchester 22nd Jan, 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presentation given by project PI Geoff Bright to the national Geography Teachers Association. To report on the salient geographical points emerging from Working with Social Haunting and R/Agency. Around 40 in attendance. Reported bock by the organiser that the presentation had been a significant intervention that had people talking. Geoff Bright invited to submit an article to the Geography Association journal on the topic of the presentation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Saffron Mic Fesitval 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Saffron Mic is an annual arts festival for the Sikh community held in November at the Paul Robeson Theatre in Hounslow (London)
Numbers of attendees for live event (projected): 120 based on last year
Dr Jasjit Singh intends to present the film he made for this project which features the reflections of Sikh artists on their creative practice. The event is broadcast through social media and we will take a count of the numbers of views over time.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIp_Q6zGbo4
 
Description Sharing event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact presentation, discussion, and networking event to disseminate the project work-in-progress
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ncla
 
Description The Bookseller - trade publication blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Article on Illustrated Soldier book-hack with ex military service veterans in trade publication of the publishing and book selling industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.thebookseller.com/blogs/illustrated-soldier-and-book-hack-316530
 
Description The Illustrated Soldier in Inform Magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article about the Illustrated Soldier project in Newcastle magazine for the voluntary and community sector - Inform
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.cvsnewcastle.org.uk
 
Description invited to be Juror at Bologna Childrens Book Festival for the IBBY Silent book selection 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited to join the expert jury at Bologna Childrens Book Festival to select the IBBY silent books for 2019
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description workshop with Cramlington Creative Writers Group - Dr Alex Lockwood 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A discursive workshop for practicing writers in Cramlington on the subject of species loss.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015