Collaborative Workshop Success with Angelou Centre

Participants at Angelou centre workshop

SiDE  researchers and colleagues from the Digital Interaction research group ran a workshop to consider longer-term partnership opportunities and challenges on a new community heritage project for the Angelou Centre, a women’s BME (Black, minority ethnic) charity in the North East of England.The workshop was part of a follow on project developed by PhD researcher Rachel Clarke with the Angelou Centre on creative digital technology use exploring migrant women’s identities. This work helped to secure future funding for research and development from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Centre to scope out a two year program to create a digital archive of women’s ‘herstories’ and contributions to the cultural and political landscape of the North East.

Researchers, staff and volunteers from the Centre discussed ways of encouraging partnership working that could foster community ownership, the development of a participatory framework that would engage women of different generations and cultural backgrounds and developing digital prototypes with women, many of whom potentially face significant barriers to digital inclusion often associated with race and gender. The importance of providing open spaces, both physically and emotionally, to explore contradictions through heritage was highlighted by staff and researchers. Volunteers also described how they felt it was important to learn more about technology, but building confidence with one another, through support and encouragement in small steps and participating flexibly was also valuable.

The next stages of this work includes the deployment of an experimental prototype, the photo-parshiya, that encourages the collocated sharing of photographs among women and staff that come to the Angelou Centre. Further prototyping workshops will also be run in November and December at Culture Lab and a further workshop will be run in January between researchers, staff and volunteers to reflect on their experiences of partnership working.

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Rachel Clarke, PhD student

Introduction labels created at the workshop to introduce the people to one another. People wrote their name, job or role, favourite technology and what they hoped to get out of the session, and passed these to someone they didn’t know too well.

Rosie Lewis, the BAM! Sistahood Project Research and Development Co-ordinator at the Angelou Centre presents the project outline and some background to the Centre.

Jonathon Hook, Research Associate on SiDE presents feedback from a group discussion on developing prototypes.

Tina Simba, Youth Community Worker and volunteer on the BAM! Sistahood project, presents feedback from group discussion on developing participatory frameworks.