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Cultural Value: The Story of Lidice and Stoke-on-Trent: Towards Deeper Understanding of the Role of Arts and Culture

REYNOLDS, Jackie, HETHERINGTON, Janet, O'SULLIVAN, Ann, CLAYTON, Kelvin and HOLMES, John (2014) Cultural Value: The Story of Lidice and Stoke-on-Trent: Towards Deeper Understanding of the Role of Arts and Culture. Research report for external body. Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent.

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Abstract or description

This report details the research activities, findings and outputs from our six month
Research Development Award exploring the value of arts and culture in relation to
empathy, compassion and understanding. Our research focused on storytelling
approaches in the context of exhibitions and community and participatory arts projects.
We use as a case study the relationship between Stoke-on-Trent and the village of
Lidice in the Czech Republic. Following the destruction of Lidice by the Nazis in 1942,
Stoke-on-Trent Doctor and Councillor Barnett Stross launched the ‘Lidice Shall Live’
campaign, rallying local working people to contribute to a fund that eventually
contributed to re-building the village after the war. Many people demonstrated
tremendous empathy and compassion by donating up to a week’s wages despite the
hardships of the time. In recent years, the links between Stoke-on-Trent and Lidice
have been refreshed and are explored, expressed and celebrated almost exclusively
through arts and culture. Our main research question is therefore why we would choose
the medium of arts and culture to link distant geographical communities in ways that
foster empathy, compassion and understanding.

We held interviews and focus groups with a multi-disciplinary group of academics and
with a wide range of artists and creative practitioners to discuss issues of empathy,
compassion and understanding, and the value of arts and culture. A working group of
participants was formed to explore new ways of identifying and expressing such value.
In June 2014, some of the working group travelled to the Czech Republic and took part
in a research visit that included participation in arts and cultural activities and events. A
range of resources to support the design and evaluation of arts activities was developed,
including a series of short films to disseminate the findings and to encourage on-going
reflection and debate.

Item Type: Monograph or Report (Research report for external body)
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Humanities and Performing Arts
Depositing User: Jackie REYNOLDS
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2019 14:24
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:55
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