Research Projects

The Media Music Drama Group has secured large, research-council grants for collaborative research projects and has supported innovative, creative practice-based research.

 

The History of Popular Music in Merthyr Tydfil between 1955 to 1970

Thanks to initial funding from the Impact Investment Scheme, Dr Paul Carr is currently working on an initiative that focuses on the development of the history of popular in Merthyr Tydfil between 1955 to the mid 1970s, This multifaceted project investigates how memories of engagement with local, national and international popular music activity in the town, facilitates audiences and artists to negotiate their individual and shared nostalgic memories and identities, while also attempting to understand issues associated with articulating them. The project is in collaboration with a number of stakeholders such as Merthyr Tydfil Library, Merthyr Leisure Trust, The Young Promoters Network, Canolfan a Theatr Soar (the Welsh language theatre based in the town), Old Merthyr Tydfil, Merthyr Tydfil Heritage Trust, Merthyr Tydfil College, The Red House (Merthyr Town Hall) and Historypin, all of who have agreed to work strategically with the project.

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Welsh and Khasi Cultural Dialogues

This interdisciplinary project in creative arts investigates the shared cultural history of the people of Wales and the Khasi people of Northeast India. This shared history spans a 170 years, from the arrival of the Welsh missionaries in the Khasi Hills in the 1840s, to the removal of all foreign missionaries from India in 1967, and beyond, resulting in a complex body of intercultural material. The project uses creative arts practice, namely performance and film, to construct a ‘cultural dialogue’ between Welsh and Indian scholar-practitioners, one that investigates and responds to our historical relationship.

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Television from Small Nations

This multidisciplinary, international research network addresses the specific challenges and opportunities facing television broadcasters and producers in small nations. For small nations the television industry performs a number of important cultural, political and economic functions: constructing cultural identities, contributing towards a democratic public sphere, and enabling minority-languages to thrive in the modern world.

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Roath Lock Drama Studios and the Creative Industries in Wales

This project examines the BBC’s new drama studios in relation to its broader policy and production developments. These include the BBC’s own 'nations and regions’ policy to produce more network programmes outside London. The project considers the rationale behind the establishment of the studios and what they mean for Wales and its creative industries.

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Localebrity: Audience Responses to Celebrity in a Small Nation

This research examines the importance of celebrity in south Wales. It comes at a time when the local television production base is expanding with the opening of the BBC’s Roath Lock Drama Studios in Cardiff Bay. The project considers the association of celebrities with specific locations across south Wales and tests the validity of the term 'localebrity’ (McElroy and Williams 2011), used to describe a hybrid of the reality television celebrity and the local personality or 'character’.

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Pobol y Cwm Artist Residency

The Pobol Prism Residency built on previous participatory research projects I had produced over the past decade in the South Wales region. The over-arching objective of this series of community specific projects has been to explore ways in which a process of creative engagement can lead to the co-production of a visual art work. One that is authentically expressive of the collective imagination of the host community and that could also offer fresh insights into the value of producing and experiencing contemporary art. In this instance I chose to work with participants who are fictional characters, in the hope that the mask of character would liberate the community to interact with artist in a direct and open manner.

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Plot and Measure

Plot and Measure, currently under consideration by Seren, explores space and place in a way that reflects contemporary thinking and the geo-cultural context of Wales. Some of the poems and short prose pieces came out of the site-specific ‘In and Between’ project in which I participated with colleagues from USW. The opening prose poem ‘If You can Think of a Place’ emerged as a reflective response to observing Jodie Allinson and Inga Burrows as they explored the abandoned tidal pool at Barry Island in preparation for filming their witty and evocative installation ‘On Vocation’.

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Cathays Cemetery Heritage Walk: Graveyard Voices

Through a fruitful partnership with Cardiff City Council, the University of South Wales (USW) has produced a range of public performance work across the city. Working closely with the Council’s Cemeteries and Bereavement services, USW has brought ‘history to life’ with performers creating short scenes relating to the fascinating stories of the people buried in the Cathays Cemetery.

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