Last night I attended the launch of a new book about the history of Edge Hill University. It was co-authored by Fiona Montgomery – author of the last two books published in 1985 and 1997 – and Mark Flinn who retired as Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic) last year.
Coinciding with the launch of the book (which is available from Blackwells online or in the Library – that’s my corporate bit out of the way!) there’s an exhibition in the foyer of the Faculty of Health detailing the Edge Hill’s journey from a teaching college for 41 women in a district of Liverpool, through the move to Ormskirk in the 1930s, the admission of men in 1958 and the push for university status. There’s also a fascinating promotional video which I’ll try to get permission to publish here.
Last night saw me and friends from the University at the CUC Gallery in Liverpool for an exciting 125 event which was very much the future! We were in the fabulous CUC gallery space which is an old Victorian warehouse in the city centre of Liverpool. The Projection and Reflection exhibition is in the basement, which suited the media brilliantly, very much a juxtaposition of the old and the new.
Projection and Reflection was a collaborative event with staff from the University’s Media Department and a previous Media lecturer who is now at Nottingham Trent. The pieces in the exhibition were using interactive media, animation and film. There are a number of fantastic media pieces that used the basement space so well but my favorites were the ABSROW installation where the audience has to get involved (go and see the exhibition and see the smiling tree!) and Russell Murray’s ‘Where We Went When We Left This Place’ ..the imagery and patterns did really take you into a virtual world which could be anything you wanted it to be, could be your past or future dreams.
The space in the basement was very dark and the music and projection was very atmospheric. A discussion started about would we see this in our homes..is this type of media something we might use to set the mood of your home and the concensus from the group was yes.
The exhibition is on until 27th August and I would recommend a visit just to see some of the ways artists are using technology to convey abstract images and very personal human experiences and thoughts and also you get an opportunity to interact which is always a great way to get people involved with technology.
This is how Camila Batmanghelidjh, Tehran meets East London, greeted young people into her first youth project or so she told us at her lecture on the 14th June. Everything about her is larger than life from her colourful handmade clothing to her attitude to those who make policy. Her view is, quite simply, that if you offer a damaged child love (unconditional but challenging) you stand a very good chance of enabling them to heal or cope with his world. She delivered a calm but impassioned presentation and, as a trained psychologist, backed her thinking with all the research data you could want about brain function and emotional well being.
Somehow you can’t help but admire a woman who would put on the line her own money to care for the hardest to help children but, as she asked, when an abused child is supposed to be taken to a meeting with the welfare services by the very person who is their abuser then how can the system work? The workers, she believes, need to be where the children are and in fact it is support services that are ‘hard to reach’ not young people.
The audience were on their feet as she concluded and reaching for their wallets to contribute to the 12 million she has to fundraise each year. Several had even volunteered to help her during the question and answer session. Children are fortunate indeed to have such an advocate.
The role of the internet, safety online and digital inclusion are some of the topics that will be debated at an interactive panel discussion with some of the country’s most eminent leading voices on digital media.
Edge Hill Chancellor and Government Adviser on child internet safety Professor Tanya Byron will chair a discussion with Government Champion for digital inclusion Martha Lane Fox, Anthony Lilley, CEO of media production company Magic Lantern and Lord David Putnam, BAFTA-winning film producer, Chancellor of Open University and chairman of digital marketing agency Profero.
The audience will have the chance to put questions to the panel and can have their thoughts on the presentations represented through an interactive voting system in place on the evening.
As part of this event, Edge Hill has partnered with Race Online 2012 which aims to get as close to 100% of the population online by the time of the London Olympics.