Leeds researchers to exhibit at prestigious showcase

Leeds researchers will exhibit their work at a prestigious event this summer.

Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira and Dr Thea Pitman May 2019

On 21 and 22 June, the British Academy will host its annual two-day Summer Showcase – a free festival of ideas for curious minds.

Featuring 15 interactive exhibits alongside pop-up talks, workshops and performances, the Summer Showcase brings the best new humanities and social sciences research to life, from why our ancestors started to invent stone tools to how 3D printing is changing lives.

As part of the Leeds Centre for Democratic Engagement’s strategy to disseminate research to a wide range of audiences, Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira, from the School of Politics and International Studies, and Dr Louise Thompson, from the University of Manchester, will present their research by asking ‘Could the public improve our laws?’.

They will be collecting comments from the public on a new policy draft and sharing these with interested MPs, keeping the conversation going and proving the importance of public engagement.

Professor Leston-Bandeira said: “I’m incredibly proud that my research on public engagement with Parliament has been selected for this year’s Showcase.

“Together with my co-investigator, we will showcase the findings of our research through an interactive exhibition. Visitors will develop a better understanding of how they can get involved with Parliament. Visitors will be shown specific examples that have led to a change in law, be able to vote on a law idea, participate in a quiz and get a feel for which petitions are most successful.”

Dr Thea Pitman, of the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, will also be exhibiting her research with the question What does indigenous electronic art look like and how should it be exhibited?’.

Her installation brings together four interactive pieces made by Brazilian indigenous communities, along with a video about the way they were first shown at the Museum of Modern Art in Salvador, Brazil.

Dr Pitman said: “I’m really looking forward to bringing some of the highlights of the Indigenous Electronic Art project to the Showcase, along with two of the creators: indigenous artist Mangtxay Camacã Imboré and Bolivian textile artist Aruma (Sandra de Berduccy).

“My research has focused on the way in which this art project has been exhibited, so this is an ideal opportunity for me to conduct a bit more research on the subject in a very different setting - it will be really interesting to see how the UK public reacts to the works and to the artists.”

The event takes place in the British Academy’s building and gardens in central London.

It is free to attend and open from 10am to 4pm on Friday 21 and 11am to 5pm on Saturday 22 June. A late-night viewing takes place on Friday 21 June, offering visitors the chance to enjoy exclusive talks and performances from 6.30pm.

Visit the British Academy website for further information and to sign up for updates.

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