The 2020 Wardens Annual Public Engagement Awards took place in December and celebrated winners across departments.
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Established Researcher category
Dr Jamie Ward for Deconstructing the Dream (Computing)
Deconstructing the Dream was a unique performance and public engagement event that brought together scientists and actors to collect data, create theatre, and explore the neuroscience of the imagination during performance.
The event, repeated over two evenings, included a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, especially created by theatre maker Kelly Hunter MBE and her company of actors from Flute theatre as well as the world’s first presentation of an actor’s neuroimaging data while performing live on stage.
Through interactive demonstrations using wearable sensing, the public explored how theatre and neuroscience could support and enhance each other’s practice, providing a rich dataset of audience reactions which were incorporated into the theatrical performance.
Early Career Researcher category
Katie Rose Sanfilippo for Encouraging Father’s Support Through Music in The Gambia (Psychology)
Working with CHIME (Community Health Intervention through Musical Engagement), Katie Rose’s project focused on ways music might help support maternal mental health in The Gambia.
Popular Gambian male musicians Jaliba Kuyateh and Martin Lyrix King (MLK) were commissioned to create new musical material encouraging husbands to support their wives during pregnancy, performing these songs in four rural communities in The Gambia, all of which was covered by Gambian national TV and radio networks who still regularly play the songs.
Post-graduate Researcher category
Youhong (Friendred) Peng for Movement and Data Embodiment, Late at Tate Britain (Computing)
As part of Late at Tate, held on 4 October 2019, three installations by Youhong (Friendred) were exhibited at Tate Britain for the public to engage with.
The goal of the immersive installation and workshop was to generate a conversation on the relationship between body movements and data.
Over the course of the evening, several hundred people engaged with the installations where wireless, wearable movement sensors were connected to novel interactive lighting installations to create three exploratory works: The Wind, Baptism, and The Light.
Special Award for Socially Distanced Public Engagement
Michael Guggenheim for Taste! Experiments for the Senses (Sociology)
What is taste? How does it change? How can we shape our tasting experiences? These are the questions addressed by the participatory exhibition Taste! Experiments for the Senses.
The exhibition presented a tasting situation broken down into individual elements, providing opportunities to discover how tasting changes across varying situations.
Participants assembled a tasting situation of their own as they moved through a series of experiments, discovering just how complex, fragile and fundamentally open to being shaped our sense of tasting is.
John Drever for London Street Noises (Music)
London Street Noises is an ongoing project charting and documenting both the changes to the London soundscape and the corresponding attitudes of Londoners towards it.
The project takes its lead from a series of pioneering sound recordings made in London in 1928 by Columbia Records in conjunction with the Daily Mail. In October 2018, the Sound Practice Research’s Soundscape Special Interest Group set out to record all five locations at exactly the same time of day, day of the week, and date, 90 years on.
In May 2020, John, with the support of Goldsmiths’ PhD researchers, recorded all five locations again to develop a soundscape time-machine that made available the historical soundscape recordings of 1928, 2018 and 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown with the aim to encourage the public to appreciate how urban soundscapes change, and to reflect on what we want future ones to sound like.
Special Award for Civic Engagement
Dr John Price and Rose Sinclair for Windrush: Arrival 1948 (History and Design)
Windrush: Arrival 1948 is an interdisciplinary project which has illuminated and challenged assumptions made about those who arrived on the MV Empire Windrush. Spanning exhibitions, interactive installations, festival activities, and online resources, the project has reached, and at times deeply affected, hundreds of thousands of people.
Based upon a new transcription of the ship’s passenger list, 1027 landing cards (infamously destroyed in 2010 by the Home Office) have been reimagined, recreated, and made publicly available through multiple exhibitions at the university, City Hall and Lewisham Shopping Centre.
For Windrush Day 2019, the project collaborated with Goldsmiths’ digital team to make the transcription and landing cards publicly available via an online database. The database has been accessed over 7000 times and was commended by the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are magazine and Find My Past website.
For the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Digital Design Weekend an immersive installation, participants explored the historic cards and journeys before navigating a ‘Hostile Environment’ in which their own personal card was shredded. This alienating experience gave way to a Caribbean front room crafting ‘safe space’ where participants wove the shreds of their landing card back together. 291 people participated, with 161 donating woven squares to a collective tapestry.
For Windrush Day 2020, collaborating with Layers of London, an interactive map showing the UK locations and details of all 1027 passengers was launched. The map allows viewers to locate passengers and then pin their own memories, images and documents to the map.
The Caribbean Front Room installation was also displayed in the window of the Broadway Theatre in Catford throughout 2020 and the beginning of 2021.
This project has been a resounding success in all its iterations at creating spaces for London communities and the wider public to connect and engage with the importance of the Windrush generation, and what the journey of the MV Empire Windrush meant to its passengers and the UK itself.
Special Award for Impact
Dr Jennifer Fleetwood for Supporting Anti-death Penalty activism (Sociology)
Jennifer is a long-term collaborator with the anti-death penalty charity Reprieve. Her research focuses on international drug trafficking, in particular, ‘drug mules’, and is regularly cited in UN reports.
Over the past eight years, Jennifer has compiled expert statements and amicus briefs relating to individuals facing the death penalty in countries such as Egypt, Pakistan and Indonesia, work which is often time-consuming and undertaken under considerable time pressure.
Jennifer’s research enables her to offer expert opinion on cases quite literally involving life and death decisions, and by sharing her knowledge of drug trafficking, legal caseworkers have developed new strategies for gathering evidence and building cases.
The longevity of Jennifer’s relationship with Reprieve speaks for the value they place on her contributions and their impact in supporting their life-saving advocacy.
Find out more about past winners, commendations and nominees: