2021 at Goldsmiths

We take a look at the past year on our campus and beyond.

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Our research continued to tackle diverse topics

In a world first, audience members at the Detective Work dance event in November had their brain activity monitored during the live performance using EEG devices. The research formed part of NEUROLIVE, a £1.6m interdisciplinary project funded by the European Research Council and co-led by Psychology’s Dr Guido Orgs.

A report co-authored by Dr Elizabeth Evans explored the barriers to elected office faced by disabled people. The research, commissioned and published by the Government Equalities Office, found that financial constraints, accessibility issues and ableist attitudes are widespread in politics.

And Professor Farzana Shain was part of a team who secured £800,000 from Research England and the Office for Students for Generation Delta. The project aims to improve the experiences of Black, Asian and minority ethnic female postgraduates and nurture a future generation of professors.

Steph McMann and Seke Chimutengwende, Detective Work - photo by Hugo Glendinning

We unveiled a Civic University Agreement, in partnership with 11 key organisations in Lewisham

We launched a Civic University Agreement in October, developed with a range of local anchor institutions.

The agreement will see the twelve partners work together to make Lewisham a better place to live, work and create, including joint projects across education, employment and climate action.

Degree shows came back to campus

After last year’s online-only shows, many of our students were able to share their creativity in person this year.

Degree shows were held on campus and in venues in our local area - from Art in the Ben Pimlott Building, to Music’s Pure Gold festival at the Albany in Deptford.

MFA Degree Show 2021. Work by Sara Rainoldi.

Our alumni continued to be celebrated

Grammy Award winner James Blake released the album Friends That Break Your Heart. In a four-star review, The Guardian called it an "elegant compendium of digital chamber music and subtle trap pop". 

Art collective Cooking Sections were shortlisted for the Turner Prize to maintain Goldsmiths' links to the art award.

Theatre director Rebecca Frecknall's West End revival of Cabaret won widespread plaudits.

Our students and recent graduates were recognised for their work

Former MA Filmmaking student Philipp Lippert was awarded two prizes at the Royal Television Society Student Television Awards.

February saw poet and MA Creative and Life Writing graduate Kaelyn Sabal Wilson win the Pat Kavanagh Prize.

And 30 Goldsmiths students and graduates were among those selected for the prestigious Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition.

We submitted to REF2021

Teams across Goldsmiths worked together on our submission to the Research Excellence Framework 2021, sharing impact  case studies  from our vibrant research community.

The final submission featured work by 496 academics and 66 early career researchers, totalling £36.5m in research income.

Our community explored the many impacts of Covid-19

Professor Claudia Bernard secured funding as part of the Black Female Professors Forum to examine how discrimination against Black, Asian and minority ethnic people has intensified the effects of the pandemic.

Dr Kalbir Shukra’s work highlighted the central role of voluntary groups in the response to Covid-19 in Lewisham.

And Dr Rachel Doern from the IMS explored the experiences of small businesses during the pandemic.

And alumni took action to support students in need

In March we launched the Alumni and Friends Covid-19 Hardship Fund.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, 94 Goldsmiths students received grants to cover urgent living costs - from rent and bills to purchasing a laptop for online learning during the pandemic. The average grant was worth £765.

We continued to work for a green recovery

We launched action plans for how we will embed the climate emergency into our curriculum and research.

And we ran an art workshop and climate protest with pupils from our neighbouring primary school during COP26 in November, supporting young people to make their voices heard on climate change.

Find out more about the Green New Deal.

School pupils, students and tutors take part in a climate protest on campus

Isabel Waidner took home the ninth Goldsmiths Prize

The Goldsmiths Prize ran for the ninth year, awarding this year’s prize to Isabel Waidner’s Sterling Karat Gold.

The judges described how Waidner “collides the real and the mythic, the beautiful and the grotesque, to mind-bending effect".

Our public art gallery was voted best in London

Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art was named best gallery in Time Out London’s Best of the City Awards 2021.

This year saw the gallery launch Residents, a new programme providing long-term space for local artistic collectives and initiatives.

We launched a scheme to boost local employment

We worked with Lewisham College, The Albany and Do It Now Now to set up a new employment scheme in Lewisham, where 1 in 5 young people are not in education, employment or training.

The two-year Inspire Lewisham project will support local over-16s into roles in the creative industries.

We welcomed former students back to New Cross

In October our alumni community organised a reunion event on campus, bringing together people who studied at Goldsmiths in the 1970s and 1980s.

The group toured campus, enjoyed drinks in the Students’ Union bar and reminisced about life as a student in South East London.

Meet the alumni who attended the reunion

Header image: Luke Felstead, BA Art 2021