Externally-funded projects

AHRC Phoenix Digital Impact Fellowship

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has awarded CAMEo a Creative Economy Engagement Fellowship to run January 2018-January 2019. The purpose of the Fellowship is to pair an academic with an arts or creative organisation to support the organisation’s ‘creative economy’ development activities. Phoenix Cinema and Arts Centre and CAMEo are working together to suggest ways in which to further develop and extend Phoenix’s digital arts, culture and creative economy activity in line with strategic  plans. Since being appointed in January, Creative Economy Engagement Fellow Dr Sophie Frost has been undertaking preliminary orientation, desk and background research with Phoenix and stakeholders.


Bass Culture


What influence has Jamaican music had on British music and British culture? Mark Banks is a co-investigator on a new three-year AHRC project led by Mykaell Riley and the Black Music Research Unit (BMRU) at the University of Westminster. Bass Culture explores the culture, history and economy of Jamaican music in Britain through a series of collaborations between academics and community researchers. The project involves oral history and archival research, community film-making, conferences and events and includes partnerships with the Black Cultural Archives (BCA) and the British Library.

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(Counter)Narratives of neoextractivism in Argentina: mapping creative resistance

Resistance to extractive activities such as fossil fuel extraction and mining in Argentina comes from different regions of the country and takes multiple forms, from frontline communities standing against fracking in the province of Neuquén, to performance-based art activism in Buenos Aires, and to a thriving alternative media scene that denounces corporations, neo-imperialism and the destruction of the environment. Movements against the extractive industries vary from localised to nation-wide, and concentrate on a range of issues such as the environment, indigenous land rights, health and corruption. This project, funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant will study current forms of opposition to the extractive economic model in Argentina by focusing on the creative processes of protest, art and media production, looking at how various complex and intersecting narratives on extractivism are formed and performed by different sectors of society through these manifestations. This two-year project will combine interviews, media analysis and participant observation, as well as collaborations with local organisations and researchers at the Universidad de Buenos Aires.

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Creative industries, diversity and austerity - CIDA

The arts sector is culturally and economically vital to the Midlands. However, little is known about the challenges that artistic practitioners face during these times of austerity, nor what could be done to support them. Funding cuts and the wider effects of austerity are having multifaceted impacts on artists and cultural workers, particularly those without secure employment contracts or stable sources of income. Austerity is therefore likely to be particularly challenging for women, BAME people, disabled and working class workers as well as those with caring responsibilities, which is why CIDA focuses on the relationship between austerity and workforce diversity.

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CIDA studies the lived experience of creative lives under austerity and how austerity affects access and participation. CIDA Project’s East Midlands Artists Survey is funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant and is being conducted in association with The Mighty Creatives (TMC), the Arts Council England bridge organisation for the East Midlands.


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Diversity meta-analysis for the British Film Institute

Workforce diversity in the screen industries is a key concern for the British Film Institute (BFI) across all of its major activities including film production funding, audience development and film education, and film heritage. The BFI seeks to develop policies and initiatives that support strong and talent-rich screen industries that can attract, retain and progress a diverse workforce. To underpin the BFI’s policies and initiatives CAMEo is delivering a meta-analysis of current research on workforce diversity in the screen sectors. The analysis will establish evidence on the current state of workforce diversity in the screen sectors, evidence on interventions to improve workforce diversity and evidence on the business, cultural and social case for improving workforce diversity.

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Mapping the Creative and Cultural Industries in Vietnam

A joint project with the British Council and Hanoi Grapevine. This is a mixed methods research project that will map the creative and cultural industries in Vietnam and explore the networks and linkages between organisations within the sector. The project will begin with a largely desk-based review of existing data sources to provide an initial quantitative picture of the sector in Vietnam, this will be complemented by a survey designed to fill the gaps between the various sources available. The project will then move on to adopt the method used by Brennan-Horely (2013) in Darwin, Australia. This involves producing maps of Cities and asking local people, workers in the creative industry and businesses to identify areas in which they believe creativity in the economy takes place. This approach helps to capture the informal nature of employment and creativity inherent within these industries that the more formal quantitative methods inevitably miss. Respondents will identify areas of the City where three elements of the creative industries work: 1. What Brennan-Horely terms as ‘creative epicenters’ – spaces where respondents feel creativity is most apparent in the local economy; 2. Spaces of inspiration – places within the City or locality that inspire the workforce in their creative work; 3. Where the workplaces actually are. This stage is vital as it enables policy makers to better understand where creativity in the economy actually occurs and where they need to target the support networks and governance interventions that Liu & Silva (2017) argue are needed to help the industries grow. Liu & Silva produced the diagram below to visualize the interactions between policy makers and the creative industries in Nanjing in China which enabled the creative industries to access the support they need from Government. Aside from academic outputs this project will produce a report for the Vietnamese Government and populate a directory of cultural and creative organisations on the Hanoi Grapevine website.

  • Contact: Marta Gasparin mg352@leicester.ac.uk
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    Document: making and marking time in artistic careers

    How do artists reflect on their work and understand their own career trajectories and development? Document is a two-year project created by the East Midlands Contemporary Visual Arts Network, which works with six artists to provide a context for them to reflect on their working life, and engage in activity that documents their own personal and professional development. Mark Banks has recently joined the advisory group of this project, and Paula Serafini will be conducting research with the Document artists about their working practices, career paths, and time.

  • More information
  • Contact: Paula Serafini paula.serafini@leicester.ac.uk
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    One by One: building the digital literacies of UK museums

    ‘One by One’ is a 30-month national digital literacy building project for UK museums, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The project is led by Dr Ross Parry.

    CAMEo, alongside the Institute for Employment Research, will provide academic research input for the project, focusing on work, employment, skills and training in the cultural industries to achieve the following objectives:

  • map how digital skills are currently developed and supplied in the in the  museum sector;
  • understand how digital skills are currently deployed in the museum sector;
  • pinpoint the current changes in the demand for digital skills/literacy in the museum sector.
  • Contact: Doris Ruth Eikhof d.r.eikhof@leicester.ac.uk
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    Where am I? BME role models and leaders in the performing arts

    Workers of black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds are under-represented in the cultural industries workforce. This AHRC-funded Clore Leadership Programme project explores the implications of this under-representation for BAME workers’ career aspirations. It will particularly focus on the importance of BAME role models for developing a more diverse workforce. If the arts and culture represent overwhelmingly white, middle class, male aesthetics, history, values and thinking, how are BAME workers to value their own ideas, stories and ambitions? What would a world look and feel like if leaders in arts and culture came from all kinds of backgrounds? If there were more black ballet dancers, a female Asian artistic director of the National Theatre, more BAME drama workshop leaders in schools? Would this encourage a more diverse arts workforce?


  • Suzanne Gorman suzanne@mayaproductions.co.uk
  • Doris Ruth Eikhof d.r.eikhof@leicester.ac.uk
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