Culture Shifts Learning Lab: How Can We Co-Author Culture?

A gathering of arts and public sector professionals to discuss how visual art can be useful in tackling societal problems.

‘Culture Shifts Learning Lab: How Can We Co-author Culture’ invites a host of guest speakers from across the photography, cultural, health, social housing, youth service and community sector to come together and discuss some of the most pertinent topics and debates today, and how the visual arts – particularly photography – can play an active role in them.

The 18-month city region wide socially engaged photography programme, Culture Shifts, will act as a starting point for discussion and reflection for the day’s event but the programmed is designed to encourage participation from all involved – speakers, community members and public alike.

We see the event as an opportunity to celebrate 7 diverse socially engaged photography projects whilst also opening up the discussion about this field of practice and what place it has within both the arts and non arts sectors in the UK today.

With topics ranging from visualising health through photography, young people’s relationship to new media and the digital image to social barriers to cultural engagement, photography as a tool for community activism and validating the practice we hope to host a rich and diverse day of presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions.

Full Room Presentations include:

Culture Shifts, in an age when people want an active role, how do we co-author culture?

Photography and the next generation – working with young people and socially engaged practice

Exploring photography as tool for visualising health – presenting Life Beyond Diagnosis and As and When

Validating the practice – including evidence around social impact with AxisWeb and Manchester Metropolitan University

From Community Activism to a Civic role – Northwood and Granby

Women of the Wirral Present…. A selection of the women from the Culture Shifts Women of the Wirral programme will present their reflections on the project with photographer Stephanie Wynne

Breakout sessions include:


1. The relationship between photography and health – round table discussion

2. Breaking down barriers to engagement – the role of process in socially engaged practice

3. Developing a socially engaged photography network – what’s currently missing? practitioner focused

4. Photostories training led by Redeye – how to support community members and support workers to use photography as a tool for engagement – a legacy of Culture Shifts


5. Socially engaged photography in Higher Education with Anthony Luvera (Coventry University) and Sam Ingleson (University of Salford)

6. Culture Shifts – reflecting upon the city region wide partner model, with Culture Shifts arts, health and community partners

7. Developing a socially engaged photography network – what’s missing? Sector focused.

8. No Ethics of Authenticity – The Granby and St. Helen’s programme will discuss how personal stories and community memory can underpin the history of an area, and how the artists’ response can be shaped by tales larger than their facts.

Guest speakers and break out session facilitators include:

Mark Smith (AxisWeb), Amanda Ravetz (Manchester Metropolitan University), Sam Ingleson (University of Salford), Janice Mclaren (The Photographer’s Gallery), Anthony Luvera (University of Coventry and photographer), Paul Hermann (Redeye, The Photography Network), Adam Lee (Photographer), Glynis Shaw (Photographer) Charlie Booth (Redeye, The Photography Network) Nicola Shipley (GRAIN), Becky Warnock (Photofusion), Sarah Fisher (Open Eye Gallery), Elizabeth Wewiora (Open Eye Gallery), Tracy Marshall (Belfast Exposed), Lindsey Fryer (TATE, Liverpool)

Heart of Glass, Stephen King (Culture Shifts photographer) and community member Gary Conley, Tony Mallon, (Culture Shifts photographer), Gary Bratchford (Culture Shifts photographer and UCLAN), Robert Parkinson (Culture Shifts photographer), Stephanie Wynne (Culture Shifts photographer), Tadhg Devlin (Culture Shifts photographer), Darryl Georgiou (Culture Shifts photographer), Rebekah Tolley (Culture Shifts photographer), Williamson Art Gallery, Kirkby Gallery, Women from Tomorrow’s Women’s Wirral and Wirral Change, Halton CCG, Dr Sarah Butchard (Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust), SURF Dementia Network group, Sefton Youth Prevention team and member of Sefton Youth Voice.

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