You are warmly invited to take part in the Productive Margins Festival – open to all.

When? 14 September 2017, 8am-8pm

Where? The Station, Silver St, Bristol BS1 2AG

Register your interest in attending on our Eventbrite Page.

Productive Margins is a 5-year collaboration between English and Welsh community organisations and the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff exploring how regulations can both constrain and further engagement in decision-making. Our starting point is that people and communities excluded from decision-making have the expertise, experience and creativity to be politically productive. Together we shift debates from the regulation of engagement to regulation for engagement.

Since 2013, Productive Margins has been co-producing research on some of the big questions that we face collectively: mobilising with young people; Muslim women’s engagement in decision-making; loneliness among older people; regulation of food habits across diverse communities; how families in poverty experience the regulation of welfare to work and immigration. We do this through a range of disciplines from social sciences to the arts, engaging with decision-makers throughout.

Join us for a full day or dip in and out! The day will showcase, celebrate, inspire and challenge us to think differently about how regulation can both constrain and empower communities and explore how we make future opportunities a reality. There will be films, performances, information stalls, and discussion panels.

Programme of events: (printable version)

8am – Co-production Breakfast: Turning the University Inside Out; Bringing Communities Outside In. Join us for coffee and pastries over informal conversations between communities, university and city about existing and future partnership working. A focus on praxis and transformation of working relationships informed by significant reflections/moments that stand out on the work of Productive Margins.

9.45am – Isolation, Loneliness and Older People. Busy streets, laughter, the sound of children playing – but what lies behind closed doors in our communities, especially for those in later life, living alone?  Alonely is a collection of diverse stories based on our research and will be performed by peer researchers from the Southville Community Development Association.  Our aim is to make the experiences of older people more visible as a way of encouraging dialogue between communities, professionals, academics and artists.

11am – Life Chances: Low Income families in Modern Urban Settings. The ‘Life Chances’ research project working with organisations in Bristol and Cardiff has produced a novel, co-authored with community volunteers, community partners, researchers and artists. Fictional characters were created, loosely based on individual’s lives, using factual material to create fictional storylines, describing the impact of different regulatory systems – such as benefits, housing, immigration, child protection – on their lives. This session explores the Life Chances project with film, jewellery, novel readings, song recording, and discussion.

12.15pm – Women and Data FuturesWomen and girls can make informed choices about how they use and value their personal data. But they need greater understanding of data sharing and ownership first. This joint project with Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) in Bristol and 3Gs Community Development Trust (3Gs) in Merthyr Tydfil will showcase the learning.

1pm – Lunch provided by the Somali Kitchen – first come first served basis. The Somali Kitchen community cooking group developed out of a research project in which Somali women in Easton, Bristol looked at how the local environment shapes food habits in our community, homes and our children’s schools. They were worried about the negative impacts of fast food takeaways on their community, the environment and their children’s health.

2.15pm –  Who Decides What’s in My Fridge? This project explored how people experience the regulation of their food habits in their community. The project was a collaboration between the University of Bristol and three community organisations in Bristol; Coexist in Stokes Croft, Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) in Knowle West, and Single Parent Action Network (SPAN) in Easton. The session will discuss with community members the role they played in the project and the outcomes it led to.

3.30pm – Mapping, Making and Mobilising at the Margins: Choreographing the Political with Young People This project run by Cardiff University aimed to develop new methods of engagement which will mobilise the collective knowledge, resources, and capabilities of communities in the South Wales valleys, particularly working with young people.  The team will showcase their work.

4.30 pm Art & Knowledge Roundtable. Discussion panel session exploring the role of art/ artists in co-produced research, with contributors from both within Productive Margins and invited guests.

5.45pm – Join us for drinks and nibbles before the final session.

6pm Live Model. This session will premiere the “LIVE MODEL” artwork produced by Close and Remote the artists in residence on Productive Margins.  You will experience abstract regulation made visible. To close the festival, Productive Margins will ask “what next what next’, ideas for future work and the role of the inside-out university.

(Programme subject to timing changes)


Productive Margins, University of Bristol
8-10 Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 1HH

Tel: +44 (0)117 3940042