Tag Archives: documentary

British Council Cultural Leadership International Programme – building international links and inspiring a new Curated Place residency programme

2 Aug

In October 2011 I was lucky enough to be taken to Istanbul by the British Council as part of their CLI programme.  From over 180 applications seven of us from the UK were taken to Turkey with the aim “to engage the new generation of cultural leaders around the world in the discussion and development of common strategies to tackle global cultural issues”.

The seven of us taken from the UK were Haidee Bell, Innovation Programmes Manager, Creative Economy, NESTADaniel Gorman, Director, Firefly InternationalRohan Gunatillake, Lead Producer, Edinburgh Festivals Innovation Lab, (now Sync) ; Karena Johnson, CEO/Artistic Director, The BroadwayLaura McDermott, Joint Artistic Director, Fierce FestivalElhum Shakerifar,  Creative Producer, Postcode Films; and me

The programme revolved around two key areas: management and leadership development. On the one hand the programme focussed on developing core cultural management skills of participants, through quite traditional seminars and workshops. However, where most people found most benefit was through the chance to get to know their peers – all emerging cultural leaders looking to develop their international exposure and experience.

Alongside my participation in the programme Curated Place also sent out a documentation crew to capture the ideas behind the events.  Again we sought not simply to capture digital footage that was relevant only to people around the immediate time of the events but to interrogate the experience and knowledge of those involved in the programme – both presenters and the remarkable CLI participants.

By filming more intimate discussions with interviewees, instead of simply capturing raw footage of scripted conference presentations, we wanted to get a personal insight into the professional worlds of those in and around the CLI programme – creating a resource that would give longer term insight into what connections could be made from the programme across international arts communities rather than just those within the room.  By ensuring these videos and that knowledge was available to anyone with an internet connection we aimed to dramatically increase the impact of the programme and the longevity of the investment made over the week of the programme.

Later this year as part of the programme I’ll be travelling to the middle east to establish new reciprocal residency programmes for UK artists and curators to develop collaborative projects with local artists at a similar point in their career – seeking to extend their creative horizons out of the regional and national to an international programme.  All of it building on the insight and relationships started by CLI in Istanbul.  More on this next week…but if you’re desperate to know follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear the latest.

From Counting Sheep to Finnegan’s Wake: The Dawn Of Digital Thinking – micro documentary and live events

1 Aug


Something a bit more digital from the Curated Place archive – a piece we developed off the back of our work on the 2011 Future Everything festival.

Wanting to get away from dry documentation of events that so often ends up as digital landfill, lacking impact after the event, we developed an idea for series of films taking highlights of the festival into an abstract micro-documentary format that would prime our audiences for the next festival.

Giving a teasing insight into the artwork showcased at the preceding festival and synopsising the ideas that were discussed, we developed a format for a marketing campaign that was built around a series of five short interlinked films – each of a duration that responded to how people actually digest digital media.  By building a story about the broader impact and concept of the festival we aimed to create a sense of anticipation around 2012 using more than just advertising budget alone.  Simultaneously we wanted to create a more usable resource from the footage captured in previous incarnations of the conference by giving some order and rationale to the archive and presenting a way in to the often jargon-filled world of digital culture.

The first film featured highlights from interviews carried out with Chris Speed and Bill Thompson exploring the dawn of digital thinking and the impacts for society as a whole. Far from just been about the technology it shows how the digital revolution changes how we think, act and relate to one another. Although abstract the teaser film was linked to the source interviews – all carried out with a clear vision and purpose as part of a medium-term strategic plan to develop the documentation and distribution of the festival’s resources – along with a curated digital resource pack.

Although only ever rolled out as a pilot/proof of concept at Future Everything we’ve now developed a solid format for for turning the documentation of one-off events into a resource that reaches beyond established audiences and will be something you’ll be able to see us extend on the new Curated Place site (from Monday) around our work on this year’s Liverpool Biennial.


An example of the source footage from Chris Speed where he expands his ideas outlined in the micro-doc. We wanted to hook people in with a brief film then give them access to more in-depth content.

The Truth: The Story of UK Hip Hop (full documentary)

30 Jul

Later this week we’ll be launching the new Curated Place website.  To celebrate we’ll be posting some of our highlights from past productions, starting with “The Truth” a film made with director Teddy Nygh for our 2009 exhibition “Homegrown”.

The brief was simple – make the most comprehensive documentary covering the development of UK Hip Hop from its origins to today told by the people that created the scene.  The result is a film that brings together legendary names of the UK scene – from Saxon Sounds through Rodney P, Roots Manuva to Giggs and Sway all telling their part in the story that makes up a uniquely British music and a uniquely British culture.

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