GRAMNet and Using Film for Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement

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Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network has found using film as a recording, researching and sharing device to be of considerable value during its four years of existence. There have now been more film projects than we can count and researchers in the network have developed increasingly sophisticated and ethical understandings of the uses of film and the limits too. Katja Frimberger, for instance, reflects on this in her blog posting for the GRAMNet blog here and here.

From the project 'Sing Goodbye to the Red Road Flats'
From the project ‘Sing Goodbye to the Red Road Flats’

When a Knowledge Exchange was granted to the network in 2012-13 a project was undertaken to ‘Sing Goodbye to the Red Road Flats’ and as well as working across a range of the Arts Rebecca Kay (co-convener of GRAMNet) lead the project which included a film about the experiences of Red Road, which was screened at the Centre for Contemporary Arts together with partners BEMIS as part of the Multicultural Homecoming Year. STV ran a feature on this project – here.

As part of the AHRC ‘Translating Cultures’ Large Grant – Researching multilingually at the borders of language, the body, law and the state’ the work with film continues with the making, disseminating, analysis and recording of a range of curated films within the project. The launch film won the Refugee Week Scotland 2014 film competition and since then the project has also made several poem-films with our Poet in Residence Tawona Sithole and our first Music Video as part of Culture 2014 – the Ha Orchestra.

In 2013 we finished work on the AHRC SFC project examining Ethical Approaches to Health Care translation and Interpreting and made 5 short films as part of the training packs which accompanied critical pedagogical materials. These have been widely used and the films – made with our partners in Showman Media – have found resonance and usefulness world wide.

Whilst GRAMNet has worked across the full range of creative and performing arts in the last four years since it was first established as a network it has perhaps found that film making has been particularly helpful in multilingual environments. The film series GRAMNet runs at the CCA perhaps illustrates this from another angle in that it regular reaches capacity audiences for foreign language documentaries and is always followed by lively discussion and debate of issues, with those for who English is not their first languages finding the films speaking to them in a powerful way or finding their voices represented in the multilingual city and through the medium of film.

GRAMNet is really just at the start of an exciting journey into using film in its work and only now beginning to look at the film archives it has created to think more critically and analytically with participants about how these might be understood.


Alison Phipps, Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies, Co-Convener: Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network, PI ‘Researching Multilingually at the borders of language the body, law and the state.’ Find her on twitter @alison_phipps.

GRAMNet is on twitter (@GRAM_Net) and facebook and the blog may be followed here.

Learn more about Film and Broadcasting or discuss developing a partnership with the College of Arts with Dr Fraser Rowan the College of Arts Business Development manager by email or phone (0141 330 3885).

Post Author: Nicole Cassie

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