I'm Thirsty: A Conversation on Reclaiming Water and the Arts as Universal Common Goods
This conversation focused on the connection between water and the arts, the premise that water and the arts are indispensable to our survival, yet both are dangerously devalued in our society and the common challenges and opportunities faced by those who believe that both water and the arts should be reclaimed as universal common goods and accessible to all. Panelists included:
- Social anthropologist Megan Clinch (Blizard Institute, QMUL) and artist Ruth Levene who discussed their research exploring the impact of flooding on the communities that live in the Calder Catchment, Yorkshire and how communities are re-connecting with water in response to climate change
- Louise Younie, GP and Clinical Senior Lecturer at Barts and The London medical school, talked about her pioneering creative enquiry work with medical students and health professionals
- Co-directors of the MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health, Bridget Escolme (Professor of Theatre and Performance, QMUL) and psychiatrist and theatre scholar Maria Grazia Turri (Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, QMUL), reflected on the value of the arts for mental health and social justice.
On Storytelling, the Child and Public Health: A Conversation
This panel explored the critical work of storytelling in communicating public health messages to and about children. Panlelists inlcuded:
- Professor Tina Chowdhury (QMUL Engineering) who talked about her work using immersive tech to visualise foetuses in the womb – a practice that both treats foetal illness, and inspires women to experience agency around preventative health measures during their pregnancies
- Professor Fran Balkwill of Queen Mary’s Centre of the Cell and Barts Cancer Institute, a pioneer in the field of communicating biomedical science to children, who reflected on her experience in publishing children's literature around biomedicine and public health
- Roz Paul, Artistic Director of Scene & Heard children’s theatre charity, who discussed the company’s twenty-two year history of using playwriting as a mentoring technique with children in Camden, including some of the remarkable plays involving illness and health written by nine-year-olds
- Dr Lucie Glasheen and Dr Rachel Bryant Davies who shared insights from their ongoing British Academy-funded project exploring how storytelling can help children understand COVID-19 and mitigate its effects
- Professor Kiera Vaclavik, co-founder and Director of the Centre for Childhood Cultures at Queen Mary.
On Promoting Wellbeing Through Music: A Conversation
With the power of music as a catalyst for conversations today and in the future, this conversation delved into the incredible power of music to support the flourishing of young people in social and educational settings and featured short films about the work of Batuta and LCO Music Junction. Panelists included:
- Professor Paul Heritage of Queen Mary’s People’s Palace Projects
- María Claudia Parias Durán, Director of the Fundación Nacional Batuta in Colombia, who makes music with 40,000 young people each year - many of them displaced by the civil war
- Hattie Rayfield and Emily Husband of the London Chamber Orchestra introduced the LCO’s Music Junction programme, which works with children and young people from a wide range of backgrounds to provide them with opportunities to develop artistic and social skills through shared music making
- Dr Maria Turri co-directs the university’s MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health and collaborates with LCO
- Kerstin-Gertrud Kärblane discussed her work with Music Junction as a mental health practitioner through Queen Mary’s MSc in Creative Arts and Mental Health
- Director of Music Dr Paul Edlin (QMUL), was Composer-in-Residence for London Chamber Orchestra's Music Junction programme in 2017 and has created an online space for student musicians at Queen Mary to share their experiences and music throughout lockdown.