LOCAL VOICES CIC: Giving Voice? Facilitating Social and Community Resilience, SIEF Summer School 2018

Giving Voice? Facilitating Social and Community Resilience
SIEF International Summer School, 22–29 June 2018
Hosted by the Elphinstone Institute for Ethnology, Folklore, and Ethnomusicology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland @ The Sail Loft, Portsoy

Conference Summary

The second SIEF International Summer School will address community social resilience from two perspectives. First, we will explore how communities reinvent themselves and repurpose the past during and after radical socio-economic change, repairing old connections while creating and maintaining new ones. In this process, grass roots activists draw on tradition, history, and new and old ideas, to reconnect the threads that create cohesive subgroups and feed into an area’s cultural self-esteem, an essential element in building resilience and the social structures required to make a community work. Second, we will address how the folklorist/ethnologist can play a role in this project through sensitive, ethical partnership working, taking as given our reflexive impact on the transaction. Inevitably, there will be both tensions and opportunities, but through slow ethnography, we can hope to achieve a balance that works for both parties.

Local Voices CIC contribution

Local Voices’ contribution to the SIEF programme was to create and facilitate a process through which graduate students could learn about how to facilitate the gathering, recording and sharing of the community’s collective voice. Our keynote lecture introduced key aspects of our developing methodology and theoretical considerations. Over the two days, we offered a model that captures the dynamic of our emerging approach to community fieldwork. This involved direct work with the local Portsoy community; one informal community gathering event and an afternoon of walking ethnography led by the students in partnership with members of the community.

Mairi McFadyenComment