Our academics and students work on projects in and around Lewisham helping with local challenges and developments.
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Dedicated local research centres
We have two centres that bring together researchers from across Goldsmiths to work on local projects.
Centre for Community Engagement Research (CCER)
The centre aims to complement and collaborate with existing community research and engagement activities across Goldsmiths and the surrounding communities.
It has looked at Lewisham's Youth Offending Service, training for social workers, and children's services.
Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR)
With core expertise ranging from visual sociology to digital geo-demography, the CUCR remains central to debates about community, ecology, governance, multi-culture, citizenship, arts and media in contemporary cities.
It has looked at the role of water in city life, bowling alleys and the impact of Jamaican music.
Here is a selection of our current and recent projects.
Sound System Outernational
Goldsmiths is located in south east London, a historic centre of the capital’s sound system culture.
Sound System Outernational is an ongoing initiative of practitioners and researchers, in association with Goldsmiths, dedicated to recognising, stimulating and supporting sound system culture worldwide.
Sound System Outernational creates spaces for dance and discussion. They organise events to bring together:
- Practitioners and researchers: academy have a lot to learn from each other
- Past, present and future sound system culture: intergenerational conversations strengthen our culture and ensure its future
- Technologies, aesthetics and politics: to understand the culture’s numerous forms, styles and media of creative expression
Find out more on the Sound System Outernational website.
Learning from Lewisham Covid 19 Response Hub
Goldsmiths' Senior Lecturer, Dr Kalbir Shukra was commissioned by Lewisham Council and the charity Lewisham Local to report on the Lewisham Covid-19 Emergency Response Hub, which was operational from March to August 2020.
The Response Hub aimed to co-ordinate and deliver information, food and a befriending service during the national lockdown to isolated, vulnerable people with the help of partner organisations and an army of newly recruited volunteers.
Dr Shukra’s report provided a list of recommendations for volunteering and partnerships in the borough and concluded: “The government’s furlough scheme demonstrated the potential that is unleashed when people have an adequate income along with time to spare. Lewisham saw how people will volunteer to contribute skills and spare time if they are not trying to eke out a living on low pay or inadequate benefits.”
Read our news story about the report.
Since 2014 CCER has been collaborating with Pepys Community Forum in Deptford (south east London) in supporting local residents and community organisations to develop a voice concerning a major riverside housing and commercial development in their locality at Convoys Wharf. Using an ethnographic approach to the research, we are adapting and using a variety of methods appropriate to accumulating local knowledge and understanding the context.
Methods have included street surveys; participant observation; community sounding board events; discussions at community ‘bumping spaces’; group discussions at community hubs/centres; house/flat interviews; and community mapping. The project has been supported by Awards for All Funding and Goldsmiths Enterprise funding.
Evaluation of the Fellowship Inn Project
CUCR has evaluated the renovation of the Fellowship Inn pub and its transformation into the Fellowship and Star, a new community venue in Bellingham, Lewisham that combines enterprise, heritage and community development.
It tells the story of the rebirth of the pub led by Phoenix Community Housing, a resident-led housing association that manages 6,000 homes in south Lewisham.
The key challenge that the Fellowship and Star faced when it opened its doors was how to re-imagine the original mission of a community public space in a 21st Century context. A context, in which the social, cultural and demographic nature of the local area is also changing rapidly.
This research started with a seemingly ordinary place, a bowling alley, used by a diverse population in terms of age, class and ethnicity.
It sought to find out: What kinds of interactions, tensions, strategies of avoidance and of negotiation, does the space engender? What are the limits to the sharing of space and how do divisions outside the bowling alley play out within?
To answer these questions, the project used various methods, including interviews with bowlers and local stakeholders, and participant observation. Research participants were asked to share photos and videos taken of their activities within the bowling alley.
As well as reports and academic journal articles, the project produced a documentary and an interactive website.
The project website: bowltogether.org