Digitally Lived Citizenship: role of social media for refugee integration

Talk by CDMC Visiting Fellow Hande Eslen-Ziya

Thursday 11 July 2019, 3-4pm.

In her talk, ‘Digitally Lived Citizenship: The role of social media for refugee integration in Norway, Sweden and the UK’, Hande Eslen-Ziya, who was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Digital Media Cultures and the Responsible Futures, introduced her research on a new project she is developing in collaboration Flis Henwood, Professor of Social Informatics. This involved discussions of digital society and citizenship, issues around social media, and key questions about the role they can play for refugee integration in the UK and Nordic countries.

The 30-minute talk was followed by a 30 minute Q&A/discussion.

Hande Eslen-Ziya is Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Social Sciences at the University of Stavanger in Norway. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland and an MA in Social Psychology from Bogazici University, Istanbul Turkey. She also has a Gender Specialization from Central European University, Budapest Hungary. In 2015, she was awarded Associate Professorship in Sociology by the Turkish Higher Education Council.

She has an established interest in gender and social inequalities, transnational organizations and social activism, and has a substantial portfolio of research in this field. Her research has been published in Social Movement Studies, European Journal of Women’s Studies, Culture, Health and Sexuality, Leadership, Men and Masculinities, and Social Politics, as well as in other internationally recognized journals. Dr. Eslen-Ziya has also authored a book that investigates how men construct their identities throughout their developmental trajectories –titled The Social Construction and Developmental Trajectories of Masculinities—published at Istanbul Bilgi Universitesi Yayınları (2017) and another one entitled Politics and Gender Identity in Turkey: Centralized Islam for Socio-Economic Controland published at Routledge, that looked at how illiberal regimes use discursive tools and governmentalities rather than actual public policies to foster human capital. Currently she is one of the editors for the book titled The Aesthetics of Global Protest: Visual Culture and Communication to be published at Amsterdam University Press. Dr. Eslen-Ziya is an Associate Prof. of Sociology at the University of Stavanger and co-chair of Digital Society Research Group.

The Death of Web 2.0, and other stories

Talk by CDMC Visiting Fellow Greg Singh

Monday 8 July 2019, 3.30-4.30pm.

In the contemporary media ecosystem of “always-on” culture, judgements are made quickly and impacts can be far-reaching; affecting our relationships, wellbeing, mental health and the health of our communities. Drawing from and synthesising communitarian ethics, recognition theory, STS approaches, and concepts from relational and depth psychology, this seminar took a retrospective look at connected media and communications cultural practices to explore some of these issues, as laid out in the book The Death of Web 2.0: Ethics, Connectivity and Recognition in the Twenty-First Century (Routledge 2019). It also touched upon related research from the RSE Life in Data Research Network, as well as more recent initiatives taken in conjunction with colleagues in CDMC.

Greg Singh is a Visting Research Fellow hosted by the Centre for Digital Media Cultures and the Connected Futures at the University of Brighton.

The 30-minute talk was followed by a 30 minute Q&A/discussion

Greg Singh is Associate Professor in Media and Communications, based at the University of Stirling, and is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Digital Media Cultures, University of Brighton. He has published on an extensive range of media and communications-related topics. Books include Film After Jung; Feeling Film: Affect and Authenticity in Popular Cinema; and The Death of Web 2.0: Ethics, Connectivity and Recognition in the Twenty-First Century (all Routledge).

He is PI on the EPSRC Digital Economy Investigator-led Research Project “Data Commons Scotland” (August 2019 start), and is interested in developing projects around improving mental health, permaculture, and circular economy.

Digital media, visual narratives of illness and public self-representation

Talk by CDMC Visiting Fellow, Rebeca Pardo Sainz

Tuesday 2 July 2019, 2-3pm.



The arrival of the Internet and smartphones have given patients, family members and caregivers access to their own public representation. This seems to be providing the affected people with agency to transform the stigmatizing iconography of certain groups through self-referential images that contribute to separate the person from the disease.

The 30-minute talk was followed by a 30 minute Q&A/discussion.

Please note that this is part of an (optional) double bill with the 1-2pm talk ‘Mediated rapes: politics & visualities in the digital era’ by CDMC Fellow Elisa Garcia, see

Dr. Rebeca Pardo Sainz is co-hosted by CDMC and the Creative Futures at the University of Brighton.

Dr. Rebeca Pardo is a photographerresearcher and senior lecturer of photography and cinema at the Faculty of Communication at Universitat Abat Oliba CEU (UAO CEU) in Barcelona (Spain). Dr. Pardo is also the head of the Research Unit and the head of the Office for Transference of Research Results of the Universitat Abat Oliba CEU (UAO CEU). Dr. Pardo was associate professor at Faculty of Arts at University of Barcelona (2008-2018).

She was the Principal Investigator (PI) of the project “Sharing Pain and Grief Online” and is the (PI) of the project “Visibilizing pain: visual narratives of illness and storytelling transmedia” that will be founded by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities 2019-2021. She has been visiting scholar at Medical Anthtopology Center under the mentorship of Prof. Arthur Kleinman at Harvard University (2017) and at CSIC under the mentorship of Dr. Carmen Ortiz (2014).

She is also the author of the blog En la Retaguardia about Image, Memory and Identity that was awarded in 2012 with the Prize Young bloggers of essay by Ariel Publisher (Planeta Editorial Group) and her artwork has been exposed in Spain and Italy being finalist in the First International Artist Book Prize in Homage to Joan Brossa (Joan Brossa Foundation, 2016).

She has been awarded this year (25/01/2019) with an excellence prize for postgraduate teaching (due to students reports) by CEU Education Group in Spain.

Her research and teaching interest include themes related to photography, illness, self-reference, medical humanities and visual narratives. Dr. Pardo usually participates at International Conferences and has published several chapters in Spanish and English about these themes.

Mediated rapes: Politics and visualities in the digital era

Talk by CDMC Visiting Fellow Elisa Garcia

Tuesday 2 July 2019, 1-2pm.

How are social media and mobile technologies reshaping sexual violence? Why do perpetrators film sexual assaults? Why do people watch and share these violent sexual contents? One of the consequences of the widespread of social media and mobile technologies is the digitalization of rape; this is the photographing, filming and sharing of the sexual assault. In the past, I studied the media representations of rape for the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo war sexual crimes, considering issues such as the embodiment of memory and the political uses of rape narratives. Now, I am focusing on studying these issues through the case-study of two filmed gang-sexual assaults that have taken place in Spain (2016-2018). In this talk, I reflect about both cases and their connections in order to discuss about the politics of visual representations of rape and the visual regimes of rape in the digital era.

The 30-minute talk was followed by a 30 minute Q&A/discussion.

Please note that this was part of an (optional) double bill with the 1-2pm talk ‘Digital Media, Visual Narratives of Illness and Public Self-Representation’ by CDMC Visiting Fellow rebeca Pardo, see

Elisa Garcia-Mingo was a Visiting Research Fellow hosted by the Centre for Digital Media Cultures and the Centre for Transforming Sexualities and Gender at the University of Brighton.

Elisa Garcia-Mingo is Associate Professor in Media and Communications based at the Universidad Internacional Villanueva (Madrid, Spain) and Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Digital Media Cultures and theCentre for Transforming Sexualities and Gender, University of Brighton. She got her PhD in 2011 from Universidad de Deusto (Bilbao) with a dissertation called Peace Waves. Congolese women journalists’ activism against sexual violence and, since then, she has researched and published about women’s political activism (Congolese activists, indigenous women in Chile), narratives of sexual violence in the media (Journal of African Media Studies, 2017) and women journalists careers (Comparative Sociology, 2019). She has been a visiting fellow at the Universidad Catolica de Chile (2015) and McGill University (2018). Since 2018 she belongs to a research group about Sexual Assault in Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

From Digital to Algorithmic: Art and Diplomacy in the 21st century

Talk by CDMC Visiting Fellow Natalia Grincheva

Wednesday 26 June 2019

In the 21st century, digital communication technologies have significantly increased the scope and intensity of global data connectivity. This digital disruption has transformed the way in which cultural diplomacy is conducted and understood by governments, communities and societies. A practice of building bridges with foreign public, cultural diplomacy in the digital age has acquired new actors, tools, channels and strategies. Visual enhancements and algorithms, global networks, big data and artificial intelligence, virtual reality and 3D simulations automate, augment and complicate contemporary diplomacy. This presentation featured Dr. Natalia Grincheva’s research activities and achievements, including her recently completed award-winning project, Deep Mapping: Creating a Dynamic Web Application Museum “Soft Power” Map. Highlighting her key research findings and contributions to the field of Digital Humanities, Dr Grincheva explained how digital technologies and data science re-calibrate the context in which contemporary diplomacy operates by reshaping the medium of public communication, empowering new actors and equipping them with new tools to establish, deliver, maintain and assess their global communication campaigns.

Natalia Grincheva was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Digital Media Cultures at the University of Brighton.

The 30-minute talk talk was followed by a 30 minute Q&A/discussion.

Natalia Grincheva is a Research Fellow in the Research Unit of Public Cultures at The University of Melbourne. She pursues her career in the field of digital humanities focusing on development of new computational methods to study GLAM institutions as important players in creative economy and actors of soft power. The holder of several prestigious international academic awards, including a Fulbright (2007-2009), Quebec Fund (2011-2013), Australian Endeavour (2012-2013) and Soros research grant (2013-2014), she has travelled the world to conduct research on digital diplomacy. Focusing on new museology and social-media technologies, she has successfully implemented several research projects on the ‘diplomatic’ uses of new media by the largest museums in North America, Europe and the Asia–Pacific region. Her most recent publication is a monograph, Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy (London: Routledge, July 2019).

Gaming and Urban: Empowering Communities

Talk by CDMC Visiting Fellow Mateja Rot

Monday 17 June, 3.30-4.30pm.

In her talk, Mateja Rot showcases her projects that address topics of the future commons, reclaiming the rights to the city and gamicipation, engaging communities in a creative visioning process, designing listening laboratories to cultivate human ability to hear and listen, and perceptive mapping.

She shared insights and experiences from recent global projects that she has been running in Germany, Portugal, Morocco and field research work in Indonesia, Northern Thailand and Chicago USA from last year.

Mateja Rot is a Visting Research Fellow hosted by the Centre for Digital Media Cultures and the Radical Futures at the University of Brighton.

The 30-minute talk was followed by a 30 minute Q&A/discussion.

Mateja Rot is urban innovator and multidisciplinary cultural operator, contributing towards open future commons, building powerful smart solutions for urban communities, improving the livelihood of urban spaces. She is interested in the collisions between contemporary art, sustainable architecture and science. She is very passionate about creative transformations of neighborhoods and community-driven urban innovation. Throughout the years she became strongly aware that studying and inventing new conditions and smart development scenarios requires a global mindset and preparedness to implement actions out of the box. Her mission is to inspire global citizens and communities and empower them to take action by provoking new developments through creative interventions in public spaces.

Mateja Rot was selected for MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Brisbane 2017. In 2017 she studied Advanced Entrepreneurship at Stanford University and established collaboration with Stanford Research Institute and GSB Behavioral Lab. She was participant of the Future Innovators Summit on Artificial Intelligence: The Other I, working on the topic of Future Home at Festival Ars Electronica in Austria in 2017. She is Rotary Peace Fellow and she studied at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand in 2018. In her research she focused on studying water rights of Mekong river basin in Northern Thailand, and post-disaster (tsunami) city reconstruction in Aceh Province, Indonesia. She is Professional Fellow of Tech innovation & entrepreneurship program 2018, run by the U.S. Department of State and WorldChicago. She worked at the Great Cities Institute of University of Illinois in Chicago under the mentorship of Director of GCI, Prof. Dr. Teresa Cordova. In 2019 she started collaboration in the international project Open Access: Experimenting with Performing Arts and Transmedia Creation, led by MA avec Granit in Belfort – Montbéliard, France together with Colectiv A in Cluj-Napoca from Romania, DuplaCena – Festival Temps d’Images in Lisbon, Portugal and National Theatre Wales in Cardiff, UK.

Digital Sound Workshop: Experimental Acoustic Holography with Professor Teri Rueb

The internationally renowned artist and scholar Teri Rueb who is Professor of Critical Media Practices at the University of Colorado was hosted by the University of Brighton’s School of Media, the Centre for Digital Media Cultures, and the Creative Sound and Music Research and Enterprise Group.

She gave a workshop for postgraduate (PhD and MA) students and staff interested in digital or audio culture/art, from a theoretical or practical perspective.

Imagine a field of sound that is constant, yet made up of different tones, chords and beatings at the granularity of about 6 cubic inches. This workshop presented a model of a heterogeneous three-dimensional sound field currently under development toward full-scale installation. The discussions focussed on individual experience of this prototype as a way of revealing the subjectivity of listening and hearing.

Here are a few impressions from the workshop:



Change for the Machine: An XR Symposium

Helen Kennedy, Donna Close, Daniel Harley

Friday, 24 May 2019, 10:30am – 6pm

The event was co-sponsored by CDMC

Change for the Machines is a symposium that drew together key critical thinkers and makers in order to materialize an emergent ‘Critical XR Studies’ network. We showcased critical research and practice to examine the design, production, and use of virtual, augmented, and mixed realities. This symposium also provided the launch pad for funding in order to support further networking events and workshops as we seek commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion in order to ethically shape the future of these new technologies.

If 2016 was the year that multinational corporations promoted the viability of a consumer VR market, then 2019 is a serious tipping point in the elaboration and circulation of critical practices and discussions that seek to challenge the technoevangelistic discourses within which these new technologies are so ubiquitously framed. Just this year there has been the Virtual Realities + Alterities symposium at the Royal College of Art, The MA Virtual Reality Manifesto for Immersive Storytelling from UWE Bristol, and Lisa Nakamura’s critique of empathy discourse at University of Michigan and the Designing Interactive Systems conference.

Whilst this event showcased current projects and practices it also moved discussions forward around a set of key critical questions: What is needed to ensure the maintenance of a ‘Critical XR network’?  What are the practical, everyday challenges in developing such a network, and what resources can we provide to support this work and these communities of practice? What commitments to equity, diversity, inclusion can we offer? What changes and impact do we want to make?

We were delighted to welcome:

  • *Verity McIntosh, Programme Lead MA VR, Pervasive Media Studios Bristol
  • *Simon Wilkinson, Director Circa 69
  • *Sarah Ticho, Director Hatsumi VR
  • *James Turnbull, Curator and Producer, TomTech
  • *Florence Jamet-Pinkiewicz, Ecole Estienne Paris
  • *Dr Kelly Snook, MiMu gloves / Kepler Concordia inventor
  • *Fi Nicholson and Hollie Page from LIMINA Immersive Virtual Theatre Bristol
  • *Ed Silverton from Mmenoscene
  • *Dan Barnard, fanSHEN

There was also the opportunity for delegates to see demos and performances from Driftwood, Hatsumi, Circa 69, Dr Kelly Snook  and to take part in a Limina Virtual theatre pop-up!

Creative Futures KEM Stuart Hedley and Laura Shockley from the Research Office were on hand to advise about funding opportunities for our new network

If you have any question please contact the conveners; Daniel Harley on, Donna Close on or Helen Kennedy on

Marina Wainer – My fellowship at the Centre for Digital Media Cultures and the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics

Façade 20 Wellington Road, Blast Theory’s studio

When I applied to the Visiting Fellowship of the Centre for Digital Media Cultures, I was already in Brighton, in residency with the interactive art group Blast Theory. Within those two-months at 20 Wellington Road, I started writing and making the very first experimentations of the work.

The conceptual environment I wanted to anchor Wild Diplomacy in was an exploration of how in a context of profound transformation, the world evolves and takes shape in a strong and complex relationship between Man, living and non-living. The first question brought others: what relationships are we developing with other species, the natural elements, AI? How can these forms of life or existence feed imaginations, build stories, inspire processes? My idea was to work on an interactive fiction around representations of natural elements as if they had legal status. In recent decades, some ecosystems have been recognised as ‘people’ in many countries around the world. A radical shift concerning nature’s right to exist for itself.

After the residency, the work took the form of an interactive journey, an in situ experience with the audience in nature, developed with immersive technology and ‘mirror helmets’, imagining that the public could reflect the nature.

I have described the residency in Blast Theory’s blog.

First sketch of the experience in the nature

The idea of continuing the Wild Diplomacy project as part of the Visiting Fellowship had met several motivations.

Creating an interactive journey in nature has definitely anchored the project in Brighton’s area, where the interactions between art and the environment are numerous and important. The issues carried by my research closely touch on many of the works and experiments led by the Centre for Digital Media Cultures and more broadly at the University of Brighton. The interdisciplinary approach proposed in the CDMC and the articulation between this centre and others, as well as, groups within the University, was a unique opportunity for me to develop my artistic practice-based research, in an experimental, open and collaborative perspective. Furthermore, my residency was hosted by both the Centre for Digital Media Cultures and the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics.



University of Brighton – Edward Street


At the SECP, I had the chance to meet two researchers working in issues close to my project, in different disciplines: Matthew Adams and Rachel White

My practice of interdsiciplinarity was until then limited to disciplines around art, design, architecture and digital studies. Discussing, exchanging with researchers in psychology and biology was new for me and has opened a rainbow of horizons, approaches, experimentations very inspiring for my work.

I’ve also had the opportunity to participate to two sessions of System Change HIVE, invited by Julie Doyle and to take part to the conversations and discover the processes the group is setting up.

Some of these decisive meetings were made possible thanks to the sharp, transversal perspective of Stuart Hedley, from the Creative Futures group.

binaural recorder

On the side of the CDMC, my fellowship was hosted by Helen Kennedy and Donna Close. Their experience and expertise in VR and immersive technologies were crucial for the step of development of my work in Brighton. As my first idea was to work with VR in this project, I needed to experiment with different types of headsets. During the residency with Blast Theory, I explored lots of VR works and I finally decided not to imagine a virtual world but to develop another kind of perception of nature.

Rafael Lino during a VR test

I worked closely with Marley Cole and Rafael Lino in order to research the potential of different technologies. Marley introduced me to the binaural audio and with Rafael I was able to experiment the HTC Vive helmet.

Following the tests, I realized that the collective experience I wanted to create was complicated by VR, and decided to use the binaural sound, that allows me both to put the audience in a strong connection with nature and to build a collective situation.

The other facet of my Fellowship at the CDMC was to produce the first prototype of the ‘mirror helmet’ I wanted to make as part of the interactive journey in the nature. I was able to print with a 3D printer two helmets in a small scale with different materials (resin, PLA, mirror film). This stage was very important and let me design the process to print the helmets in the 1:1 scale.

First prototype of the helmets, printed with a 3D printer in a small scale




As part of the Fellowship, I also wanted to engage with the Centre’s community of PhD students.

This community was very interesting because the students have different backgrounds, from geography to photography.

I ran a workshop with them, around speculative fictions related to my work. Under the title 2051: what if natural elements had legal status, the idea was to imagine our relationship to the natural elements in 2051. Why 2051? 2050 being a pivotal date in studies and prognoses on climate change, it seemed interesting to me to place the context one year later.

How can we imagine a forest, a river, a cliff communicating, expressing oneself, in a relationship with humans where these elements would be their equals? How to feel, translate, make visible? Is it possible in our ‘Western approach’ to consider legal representation as in some countries now? Or should we rather stay in a world where ‘exchange and diplomatic relations’ could be the rule?

Taking as a starting point this context and the interdisciplinarity of their respective research, they worked on these speculative fictions by using collage and video as the way to make their stories.

Workshop with PhD students












The workshop was organized by Frauke Behrendt as well as the talk I ran at the end of my Fellowship, to discuss the process I engaged in with this work.

Wild Diplomacy: Artist Talk by Marina Wainer


I was able to attend Change for the Machine: An XR Symposium, held by Helen Kennedy, Donna Close and Daniel Harley at the end of May.

The form of this project is new in my artistic practice. I was able to develop this first part and link it to my work through the residency with Blast Theory and the Visiting Fellowship at the University of Brighton. The work I deployed in this framework allowed me to create an experience where technology is erased in the narrative, and makes it possible to connect the natural space to the narrative, in a relationship that is both individual and collective.

Symposium: Change for the Machine








To follow the progress of Wild Diplomacy, visit my website

Wild Diplomacy: Artist Talk by Marina Wainer

Talk by CDMC Visiting Fellow Marina Wainer

Thursday 23 May, 4.30-6pm

The Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics and the Centre for Digital Media Cultures present a talk by Marina Wainer, a Paris-based multidisciplinary artist. For the last fifteen years, Wainer has been creating interactive installations anchored in space, creating a dialogue between bodies and environments, and placing the public at the heart of her artwork.

Drawing on her work during an art residency with Blast Theory in Brighton and her work as a Visiting Fellow at the University of Brighton, Wainer spoke about her processes and the development of her new immersive experience, rooted in questions about the complex relationship between humankind, the living and the non living.

Here is what Marina says about her project:

The project I started writing during the art residency with Blast Theory in Brighton, and continue to work on as Visiting Fellow at brighton, is rooted in the relationship between nature and technology.

It is related to two projects carried out over the past five years around the exploration of this theme (Territories of Time and Instants²) and a broader reflection on the articulation between art, territory and the digital. In a context of profound transformation, the world evolves and takes shape in a strong and complex relationship between humans, living and non-living.

What relationships are we developing with other species, the natural elements, AI?

How can these forms of life or existence feed imaginations, build stories, inspire processes?

The starting point of this work are representations of natural elements as if they had a legal status. In recent decades, some ecosystems have been recognized as ‘people’ in many countries around the world. A radical shift concerning nature’s right to exist for itself.

The shape the project is taking is an interactive journey in nature with an immersive experience, both individual and collective.