CREATIVELY EXPLORING THE HIDDEN COMPLEXITIES OF THE PAST, TODAY
-FOR RE-IMAGINING COMMUNITY FUTURES!
This website brings together the body of living knowledge that has grown from 3 AHRC Connected Communities projects led from the Education and Social Research Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University in which we have used the idea of a social haunting. Mainly based in the former coalfields, our research partnership has brought academics, activists, artists, musicians and community partners like the Co-operative College and Unite Community together with a diverse group of working class people, young and older, in our innovative “Ghost Labs”. There, we have investigated how contested pasts such as the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike remain hidden in plain sight in the daily life of communities, not only as long-lasting collective traumas, but potentially as positive resources of hope. As much as they trouble us, social hauntings call attention to places and moments where the old dispensation cannot go on, when something different, different from before must be done and the possibility of another world opens up. We invite you here to see the richly creative ways in which we’ve responded to that possibility.
WORKING WITH SOCIAL HAUNTING
Uses community ‘Ghost Labs’ to investigate how contested pasts continue to make themselves felt in de-industrialised areas of South Yorkshire and Lancashire, and the contribution of this ‘haunting’ to notions of community being-ness.
OPENING THE "UNCLOSED SPACE"
Creative inter-generational inquiry in to how community futures can be re-imagined, in the context of the unfinished possibilities of the past. Involved participants from the North Staffordshire coalfield, and with young people from East London.
SONG LINES TO IMPACT & LEGACY
Extends innovative ‘Ghost Labs’ and ‘Community Tarot’ to diverse and marginalised audiences and initiates the connecting of threads of ‘living knowledge’ through the North East, North West, and internationally.
Articles on “creating magic circles” and of “feeling, reimagined in common”;
Song lines that stretch from Horden to Malawi;
Films of belt-mending and of drowning;
Tarot cards of lighters and wasteland;
Poetry of hope and of missing limbs…
Browse work produced by participants, artists and academics across the three Social Haunting projects.
Covering all three ‘social haunting’ projects, our Blog offers thoughtful but informal reflections on the research and its connection to the theoretical, political and creative work of our co-producers and friends of the projects.
Alongside notes and short essays, photographs and drawings help to illustrate our Ghost Labs and the various ways our work has reached non-academic audiences.