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Asylum Armada: Knowledge, Practice & Community Engagement in Participatory Documentary Practice - SACI0005

School of Arts and Creative Industries

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Dr K MacLeod , Prof C Atton Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project


The practice led project takes an applied, inter-disciplinary and creative approach to researching relationships of community engagement & documentary production. It explores the construction of historical knowledge and identity in Scottish (and Spanish) communities in the development of a documentary about the historical legacy of the Spanish Armada’s refuge in and around Scotland in 1588.

Asylum Armada: A collaborative creative documentary project about the journey of the Spanish Armada in 1588 around the coast of Scotland. The project explores the political, religious, cultural and mythical legacy of the Armada’s presence on Scottish shores and the social & political contexts in which they were given asylum. The film and research will potentially reference the context of contemporary asylum seekers in Scotland.

The research aims:
a) To examine processes of community engagement & practitioner practice in media production processes.
b) To explore the construction, preservation and value of local historical knowledge in communities.
c) To investigate cultural processes of remembering and forgetting, examining cultural resources as remembering practices (archives, oral history, storytelling, myths, song, monuments).
d) To examine the relationship between local history and national and international narratives.

The project will develop relations with communities and local organisations across Scotland - Orkney, Shetland, Fair Isle, Mull and Fife, as well as Spain and more broadly with a general public across Scotland and internationally.

Academic qualifications:
A first degree (at 1east a 2.1) ideally in Film/TV/Media, Social Anthropology, Archaeology or History with a good fundamental knowledge of documentary practice.

English language requirement:
IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:
• Experience of fundamental: community based media/knowledge/history
• Competent in documentary production or similar creative practice
• Knowledge of collaborative and participatory methods of research and production
• Good written and oral communication skills
• Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
• Good time management

Desirable attributes:
Working knowledge/fluency in Spanish; experience of Scottish islands and coastal communities; familiarity with ethnographically informed approaches to media production and research.

When applying for this position please quote project code SACI0005

Funding Notes

This is a self funded PhD opportunity


Bell, D., 2006. Creative film and media practice as research: In pursuit of that obscure object of knowledge. Journal of Media Practice, 7(2), pp.85-100.
Gordon, J., (ed.) 2009. Notions of Community: A Collection of Community Media Debates and Dilemmas, Peter Lang: Oxford.
Grimshaw, A & Ravetz, A., 2009. Observational cinema, anthropology,fi/m, and the exploration of social life, Bloomington: Indiana University Press
Macleod, K., 2015, 'I film therefore I am: process and participation, networks and knowledge- examples from Scottish community media projects' in Atton, C. (ed) Routledge Companion to Alternative and Community Media, London: Routledge.

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