Thinking Futures is a week-long Festival to share and celebrate research from the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. This year members of my research cluster (Politics and Matter) are hosting the event Crafting in collaboration with local craft practitioners. This panel event will showcase ongoing research and coproduction in the Faculty on questions of crafting, materialism, community economies, and ecologies of thought and action. Primarily the session will highlight what emerging social theoretical perspectives can offer in terms of rethinking the place and power of craft and craftwork in the contemporary world. Is the recent revival of handicrafts a romanticisation of past worlds, or does it tell us something about our contemporary condition? Can past and present practices be shown to resonate? Can craft generate new forms of community activism which allow us envisage alternative economic futures? How does an engagement with the intricacies of craft practices alter the way we understand ecologies of thought, action, and process?
In this event, three dialogues, between theory and practice, will take up these questions and form the basis for an open discussion:
Dr Merle Patchett (Bristol University) and Peter Summers (Taxidermist) on “The Craft of Taxidermy and Re-Drawing an Ethic of Apprenticeship”
Joanna Mann (Bristol University) and Vicky Harrison (Owner of Paper Village and local ‘craftivist’) on “Crafting Community”
Dr Naomi Millner (Bristol University) and Jethro Brice (Bristol-based artist) on “Craft, labour and the commons”.
Chaired by Dr Mark Jackson, the panel will consider the importance of craft and craftwork to broader questions of political, economic and social change. The audience will be encouraged to participate in thinking material futures through craft and to question the craft of experience. Conversation will roll into a wine reception, where further interactive discussion will take place, and practices will be on display.
The event will take place on Friday 8th November 6.00-7.30pm at The Kitchen, The Station, Silver Street, Bristol BS1 2AG. Tickets are free, but seats are limited. Please order yours through the eventbrite system on the Thinking Futures website.