Friday, March 05, 2010

Lucy Special: The upcoming ESRC Festival of Social Science

I'm posting a special Anthropologist About Town blog, to let you know about The ESRC Festival of Social Science which is coming up in less than two weeks and give you a head start in booking your tickets to free social science events around the UK.

The ESRC Festival of Social Science takes place annually in March. The festival provides an opportunity for organisations around the UK to share their research, and organise events and activities which demonstrate the importance and impact social science has on our everyday lives.

This year's festival will take place from the 12th- 21st March. There are events all over the country, some which are suitable for schools, others for people with a specific knowledge/interest in the topic, for professionals, and for a general public audience. To find out more about all the events visit the ESRC Festival website.

The Festival has some great events that are open to the general public. Below are a few highlights.

12th -13th March- Focus on Low Carbon Living

Students across the UK have been exploring how energy functions in their daily lives, and what steps can be taken to reduce energy use or be more energy-efficient. Science Oxford Live hosts an exhibition of their photographic and/or artistic results, and investigate how students' work can help us to focus on what Low Carbon Living would actually mean. The event is taking place at the Meeting Place, University of Oxford. For more information and to book your free ticket contact

13th March- Exploring Privacy: Your privacy and the internet

Based on a three year collaborative research project, Royal Holloway University of London are hosting an event which encourages participants to share their views about online identity and privacy. Taking place at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens the event begins with a short performance followed by a discussion and interactive activity to record participants' thoughts and conclusions. For more information and to book your free place contact Claire Hudson at:

15th March - Memories of Medical Research in Africa: a photography exhibition

The Anthropologies of African Biosciences Research Group presents an exhibition exploring the social life of medical research in Africa. Photographs, short films and artwork evoke historical and contemporary experiences of research participants, workers and communities. The evening opening event includes an introduction to the exhibition, music and a free glass of wine. The event will take place at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Cafe. To book your free place email Gemma Jones at 020 7927 2663

16th- 18th March- Water Cultures: discovering the meaning of water through film

Water cultures offers participants an opportunity to take a glimpse at communities around the worlds whose livelihoods are being threatened by fresh water scarcity, and who are drawing upon local knowledge to find solutions to their predicament.

Format: A brief introduction about the ESRC Festival, the film, and film maker, followed by the screening and a Q&A session.

Time: 6:30-8:30pm

Location: The Royal Anthropological Institute's Screening Room

Free snacks and drinks will be provided. To book your free place visit: or email Nafisa Fera, the RAI's Education Officer at
/020 7387 0455

16th March 6:30pm - The Water Goddess and the Computer
Screening followed by Q&A with Andre Singer

Film makers: Andre Singer and Stephen Lansing, Colour, 52 minutes, 1989

The film demonstrates how in Bali, development projects can threaten a carefully balanced ecological irrigation system that is maintained by temple priests. A biologist and an anthropologist look at the traditional irrigation system and show through the use of a computer how it works. They then present the computer system to the temple priests as an aid to explore the effects of changes in the traditional irrigation system.

17th March 6:30pm- Drowned Out
Screening followed by Q&A with Hugh Brody

: Franny Armstrong, colour, 72 mins, 2002

An Indian family decide to stay at home and drown rather than make way for the Narmada Dam. They are faced with three choices: move to the slums in the city; accept a place at the resettlement site; or stay at home and drown. The people of Jalsindhi in central India must make a decision fast. In the next few weeks, their village will disappear underwater as the giant Narmada Dam fills. Bestselling author Arudhati Roy joins the fight against the dam and asks difficult questions such as: Will the water go to poor farmers or rich industrialists? What happened to the 16 million people displaced by fifty years of dam building? Why should I care? Drowned Out follows the Jalsindhi villagers through hunger strikes, rallies, police brutality and a six year Supreme Court case.

18th March 6:30pm- Little Waterfall
Screening followed by Q&A with Joshka Wessel

Film maker: Joshka Wessel, colour, 52 mins, 2003

Little Waterfall is a small village on the edge of the desert in Northern Syria. Life in Little Waterfall is made possible by the use of a 1500-year old Byzantine water tunnel. However, decades of migration and family conflicts caused the tunnel's maintenance to be ignored. Mohammed Musa spent all his life in Little Waterfall. He does not have irrigation rights and he resents the way irrigation rights are sold by others. He undertakes a project to clean the tunnel in order to safeguard the water supply, and pursue his own interests.

20th March- The Meaning of Water

Time: 10:00am-4:00pm

Location: HMS President Boat, Victoria Embankment, EC4Y, London

The Meaning of Water aims to raise public awareness of research and development projects undertaken by anthropologists, social scientists, and NGOs in the UK and abroad. Through presentations, films and exhibitions, the event explores two main themes: 1) access, advocacy and fresh water management; and 2) sustainability and livelihoods. The event addresses questions such as: how are communities finding local solutions to water scarcity? In what ways can we decrease our water footprint? What are the repercussions of water being treated as a commodity rather than as a common right? We hope that through this event participants will better understand our local and global interdependent relationship to water and foster collaboration between associated groups of individuals.

To book your free place visit: or email Nafisa Fera, the RAI's Education Officer at / 020 7387 0455

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are there going to be any more posts? I miss this blog.