Community Regeneration Through Digital Literacy
Imagine turning one of your city's most beleaguered and notorious neighborhoods into the home of some of the country's most innovative media projects. This panel examines how the Knowle West Media Centre in Bristol achieved just that. The KWMC's University of Local Knowledge project has inspired astounding community growth and regeneration through collaborative media. The KWMC created 800 videos about local crafts and skills; then they brought professionals together with local experts to learn from one another about everything from cars to photography to horse whispering. The project was organized through a green, world-class media centre established in one of the more troubled parts of Bristol. The panel examines how the project directors used digital media and digital art to make the ULK project a success in engaging and teaching digital literacy, as well assisting in community regeneration.
This process involved a creative use of public space, media centre space, wikis, blogging, videography, computer classes, and sound mixing studios to combine the physical and digital into one cohesive learning environment. KWMC Director Carolyn Hassan will explain the process and answer question about the use of collaborative media for successful community regeneration.
Carolyn is founder and Director of the award winning Knowle West Media Centre located in South Bristol: a state of the art media centre (built of straw bales) that provides media facilities promoting economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing.
She received an honorary doctorate from the University of West of England for her contribution to education and social inclusion. She is a fellow of the RSA a member of the South West Regional Arts Council. KWMC has won many awards including the Queens Award for Voluntary Sector and in 2010 received Outstanding Contribution to Digital Inclusion at the national E-Wellbeing Awards.
I'm a doctoral student at Texas Tech University who studies civic engagement in social media with a focus on the user/designer divide.
The interactive web has increased in complexity from HTML and CSS to a PHP and database driven environment that increasingly challenges what it means to be web literate. I trace these challenges in a number of environments, most notably I've worked with the Knowle West Media Centre in Bristol and LocalWiki.org in Davis California.
In 2009-2010, I served as Fulbright scholar to the United Kingdom and spent a year working with the Knowle West Media Centre. Prior to that I spent 5 years working for Apple Computer and 2 years working for Hart InterCivic.
In addition to my research, I write and serve as Digital Design Lead for Partisans.org. I also make a bit of time to write for SXSW ScreenBurn.