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Dr Michael Buser - Beyond the Rebel Clowns: Cultural Activism and Place Making

A Re-Place research group seminar presentation

This paper introduces a recent AHRC-supported scoping study on creative practice, activism and place-identity. During the talk I will discuss a few broad themes including some ways in which cultural activist projects challenge dominant ways of seeing and constructing social worlds and how alternative imaginaries are put forward and experienced. I am particularly interested in drawing attention to opportunities and challenges related to community development and place and will present some art/activist and intervention examples from Stokes Croft, Bristol. The presentation highlights divergent expressions of temporality, the role of participation and disappearance in activist projects and how such activism might inform contestations around urban space.

Event details

Michael Buser is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments (SPE), Department of Planning and Architecture, at the University of the West of England, Bristol. His research at SPE focuses around three broad themes: creative activism; democracy and neighbourhood governance; and spatial theory.  Michael’s current work investigates opportunities for activist-led creative practice in local communities.  Within this arena, he recently completed a scoping study for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Connected Communities programme on the topic of cultural activism and place identities and is currently PI on ‘Foodscapes’, another AHRC project where we are exploring the role and potential of arts and performance in alternative food initiatives.


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