Aberdeen Adapts - engaging communities through cultural practice


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Project On-going
Date added: 27/04/2017

Engaging with communities on climate change adaptation through the lens of art.

This project was a collaborative venture with Aberdeen Adapts, Creative Carbon Scotland, Robert Gordon University and four cultural practitioners.

Our premise is that culture is a powerful community engagement tool and the project involves trialling a bespoke mini Arts festival in an area of North Aberdeen, Middlefield, to explore impacts of changing climate and how the community might respond. We delivered three creative workshops to explore the effectiveness of different types of intervention.

We recognise the importance of communities being empowered to take part in local decision making processes. By working in partnership with Aberdeen Adapts we can review the effectiveness of the initial engagement in helping the community work towards becoming more climate ready.

We also aim to understand what impact the involvement of cultural practitioners has on each of the partners’ thinking about and approaches to climate change adaptation in our respective areas of work. By involving action researchers (RGU) we are able to evaluate and document the difference this cultural approach makes

By working in Middlefield –a disadvantaged community – we are reaching those who don’t usually have voice and those who are more vulnerable

The project has a number of intended outcomes and outputs:

  • Greater involvement of people in Aberdeen with Aberdeen Adapts
  • Greater understanding of the role of cultural interventions in engaging people
  • New resources – including video clips and interviews – that can be used to replicate the approach and build on this elsewhere

You can read initial reflections on the mini-arts festival from Leslie Mabon of Robert Gordon University here.