Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Raw and the Cooked: Grants Help to Serve Up Archives

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Raw and the Cooked: Grants Help to Serve Up Archives

Article excerpt

Food, feminism and assumptions about asylum seekers among areas explored in eight AHRC-backed projects. Matthew Reisz reports.

Eight Pounds 15,000 grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council will help small firms and organisations join forces with academics to tap into archives.

The funds will be used to examine everything from African cinema and disappearing oral cultures to London's rise to pre-eminence as a "foodie" capital.

Sue Clayton, reader in media arts at Royal Holloway, University of London, is a film-maker with a long-standing interest in the issue of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, many of them "looked after in Britain until the age of 18 and then often picked up in the middle of the night and dumped back in the war zones they came from".

She has compiled more than 200 hours of interviews with young people, mainly from Afghanistan, Sudan and Eritrea, which form a crucial resource for those working in the area.

The AHRC grant has allowed her to join forces with Counterpoints Arts, which will provide the technical and design expertise to transform the raw footage into an online "migratory archive".

This will include an indexed resource for campaigners and lawyers along with selected interactive material for the general public designed to raise awareness and to challenge common assumptions about asylum seekers as "scroungers".

There are also plans to create short "pop-up clips" that can be projected in public events and spaces such as music festivals and skateboard parks.

The London College of Communication will use its funding to promote further study relating to its archive of Her Noise, a major exhibition of sound art and experimental music by women, held at the South London Gallery, Tate Modern and the Goethe-Institut London in 2005.

Not only was it "an exhibition which marked a moment", said Cathy Lane, professor of sound arts, but it included much material ideal for "kick- starting research into gender and subjectivity within sound arts practice". …

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