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[ecrea] CFP Reminder: Investigating Regional Creative Clusters

Sat Dec 16 15:17:15 GMT 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS Investigating Regional Creative Clusters

A One Day International Symposium, Watershed, Bristol, 6 March 2018

Hosted by the University of the West of England and the BAFTSS Screen Industries Special interest Group (SISIG)

There has been considerable interest in the concept of ‘regions’ and ‘creative clusters’ of late: in the UK, Nesta’s The Geography of Creativity in the UK (2016), the BFI’s Creative Clusters Challenge Fund (2016), the AHRC’s Creative Clusters Programme call (2017) and Sir Peter Bazalgette’s Independent Review of the Creative Industries (2017) being the most prominent. However, is the concept of a regional creative cluster hardening into a doctrine, a mantra that is frequently invoked but rarely inspected? Is the ‘cluster strategy’ ‘solution’ to an ailing and profoundly unbalanced economy closing down the opportunities for a disinterested and genuinely independent enquiry into the potential benefits and possible drawbacks of regional creative clusters?

This symposium offers the opportunity to discuss and debate these concerns and to present research projects and work-in-progress that address these questions.

Papers are invited (but not limited to) any of the following topics:

How have ‘regions’ been defined in media and cultural policy and what is the relationship between regions and nations (Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales)?

How, and with what effects, does the concept of regionality differ between countries?

What is the relationship between regions and the ‘centre’ or ‘centres’ of production? (e.g. in the UK between the regions/nations and London).

How might European disintegration/Brexit effect the operations of regional creative clusters, nationally and transnationally?

How does the economic significance of particular regions relate to the cultural myths, stereotypes and self-images that are associated with these regions historically? How effectively are regional clusters being supported by local, regional and national policies? What is or should be the role of any specific agencies (e.g. Screen Yorkshire)?

How have the regional concentrations evolved historically?

What has been the regional impact of major national institutions (e.g., Arts Council England, BBC)?

What are the similarities and differences between contrasting regional creative clusters? What causes differences?

Is the effect of regional clustering to homogenise or diversify creative talent?Are clusters characterised by a mixed ecology or a concentration of specialisms?

Have the production cultures and output of regionally-based creative companies been shaped by their respective locations? If so, in what ways?

What is the relationship between creative clusters and the predominantly freelance labour on which those clusters depend? How open are cluster labour markets and how diverse are regional labour forces?

What role do creative companies play in the wider civic, social and cultural life of their regions? What is their impact on regional and social cultures?

What is the nature of the interrelationships between the companies that compose regional clusters? How useful is network analysis or the ecology metaphor for understanding clusters?

What are the best approaches and methodologies to investigate regional creative clustering?

The symposium will be held at the Watershed, Bristol (location and further details here:

Please send 200-word abstracts to (laura.mayne /at/ by 20 December 2017.

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