In February 2014, a team of researchers in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Technologies at Staffordshire University, led by Dr Jackie Reynolds, was awarded a grant by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, as part of the Cultural Value initiative. The aim of the research was to improve our understanding of the potential of arts and culture to develop reflection and empathy across geographical divides. The ‘Empathy, Compassion and Understanding’ film below, shares some of the discussions and the findings of the research.
The project drew on a unique case study: that of the relationship between Stoke-on-Trent and the tiny village of Lidice in the Czech Republic. The tragic story of Lidice, along with the remarkable response by the working people of Stoke-on-Trent is told in the ‘Story of Lidice’ film below. A research team, including film makers Junction 15, visited Lidice for the annual commemoration of the Tragedy in June 2014. The Research Visit film shares the experiences and research insights that were gained from the visit.
Please explore the rest of the blog. You will find project reports, and a range of resources to support the design and evaluation of arts projects in ways that better demonstrates their value in terms of empathy, compassion and understanding. These include the ‘Caring Cards’, that are based on the research findings and designed by artist Nicola Winstanley. We would be glad to receive feedback on any of these resources and whether they are useful to you in your work. Please feel free to comment, or to contact a member of the research team: our contact details can be found on the Staffordshire University website.