Led by Dr Rebecca Bramall, formerly Senior Lecturer in Media Studies in the Faculty of Arts, with research interests in cultural theory, popular culture, and twentieth-century history. This research project examined discourses of austerity, drawing on debates about history, heritage and memory, and emergent work on ethical consumption and the environment.
Following the Centre's successful funding bid to the CUPP 'On our Doorsteps' scheme in June 2010, which secured £5,000 seed funding from July 2010–January 2011, we established a skills and knowledge exchange pilot project with Brighton and Hove Black History (BHBH) community group (also involving staff and financial support from the School of Humanities) on the theme of 'Black History and Cultural Memory in Brighton: the India Gateway Commemoration Project'. Focused on BHBH's activities to commemorate the 69th and 70th anniversaries of the unveiling of the India Gateway to the Royal Pavilion, in October 2010 and 2011, this pilot project – the first-ever CUPP funding, and first ever-skills and knowledge exchange, in the humanities area at Brighton – was designed to contribute towards building a longer-term, sustainable relationship. The project involved meetings between the university and community partners to discuss our differences in ethos, purpose, skills and knowledge, modes of working, and outcomes, and to plan our work together; the setting up and supporting (in liaison with the University's Active Student unit) of two student placements with BHBH, offered to postgraduates studying on the MA Cultural History, Memory and Identity, who engaged in research to support BHBH activities; innovative arrangements with Media Services to secure technical support and workshop training in digital recording and editing for both BHBH volunteers and the placement students; a short film record of the commemorative events in 2010 made by the students; and discussion about how to support future work together.
BHBH’s Commemorative event to mark the 69th anniversary of the unveiling of the India Gateway was held on 16 October 2010 as part of Black History Month, and included an exhibition, a guided walk, and a public debate with invited speakers – co-organised with CMNH – held in Brighton Museum on the theme of the exclusion of local Black, ethnic and minority communities from Brighton and Hove's public buildings.
The project was successful in establishing a productive and mutually beneficial academic–community partnership and trusting personal relationships with BHBH, grounded on egalitarian principles, and in piloting the various practical activities; thereby laying the basis for potential continuing collaboration. Evaluations of the project by participants reflected on its limitations as well as positive outcomes.