Tuesday evening, the second event in the “Vertical Studio” project, saw the Cardiff launch of a new book, The Creative Citizen Unbound. This has been co-edited by Professor Ian Hargreaves and Professor John Hartley and is subtitled: “How social media and DIY culture contribute to democracy, communities and the creative economy”. This subtitle encapsulates the tone of the event, which followed closely on from a similarly well-attended launch in the House of Lords in London.
The evening, hosted by Creative Cardiff Research Network and Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, with support from Creative Cardiff, was a more formal and academic event than the Show & Tell that took place on Monday evening. This provided an opportunity for the space to be reconfigured accordingly. A more conventional arrangement of lecture-style seating was put out, along with an audio-visual setup for the screening of two videos and the presentations of the speakers.
The audience were welcomed first by Sara Pepper from Creative Cardiff, who handed over to Ian Hargreaves for an overview of the rationale and context behind the creation of the book. John Hartley expanded on this talking from the perspective of someone who has worked extensively in both Cardiff and in Western Australia about the balance of globalised and localised implications raised by creative citizenship.
A short interval for questions was proceeded by Dr Andy Williams of the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, who talked about his research on community journalism.
I took the stage for the last five minutes to present some initial themes emerging from my work on Cardiff’s “embedded creatives”, after which we discussed what we’d heard over wine and cheese.
The event showed off not just the groundbreaking work that is being done in the university on various aspects of creativity, but also the interests and connections that this work has for people outside it. I was able to meet several such people after the talks and feel affirmed in my belief that this is fundamentally a useful, valuable area of endeavor, being pursued by a range of highly active people. The fact that we could come together in a student-designed and built space at the heart of the campus served, I feel, to to reinforce this notion among the attendees.