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Animated film depicts 'Love Story' between universities and creative sector

25 Mar 2014

The findings of a research network looking at collaborations and partnerships between universities and the creative sector have been showcased during the AHRC Creative Economy Showcase that took place in London at King’s Place on 12 March.

Still from 'Love Story' by Alys Scott-Hawkins

Researchers and creative practitioners working with the AHRC-funded network 'Beyond the Campus: Connecting Knowledge and Creative Practice Communities Across Higher Education and the Creative Economy'  presented a specially commissioned film, graphic illustration and results of an online debate at the national research dissemination event.

Led by Dr. Roberta Comunian (Kings College) and Dr. Abigail Gilmore (The University of Manchester) the network has been exploring collaborative partnerships and relationships between Higher Education and the Creative Economy in the UK and internationally, and what policy makers, funders, local agencies and other stakeholders within the sectors think of them.

At the Showcase, the network presented an animated film, Love Story, by visual artist Alys Scott-Hawkins, which tells the tale of two protagonists in an academic and creative partnership - Claudio and Hedda - and their trials, tribulations and successes. The film explores the main themes of the network through the narrative of love, romance and relationships.

Abigail and Roberta explain: "This project was not just about presenting the Beyond the Campus research in different ways by using animated film - it allowed us to consider the different things that matter in the collaborative process, to both creatives and academics (and the institutions they work with), and discuss ways of making the process smoother and more productive.

"Work between the creative sector and universities isn't simply a case of getting the technicalities right: we also had to take into account different timetables and systems, as well as the different values we each bring to the creative process."

The outcomes of a tweetchat themed around on the relationships between higher education and the creative economy, which took place on Valentine's Day, were also presented as concept visualisation and illustration produced by data illustrator Robin Schneider. Hosted by Claudio and Hedda (the two stars of the film), the tweetchat generated hundreds of tweets from targeted audiences.

The film and social media campaign proposes that the relationship between higher education and the creative economy is rather more human, both intellectual and emotional, than simply being a technical matter of knowledge transfer or exchange. Both of these creative elements have been commissioned specially for the AHRC Showcase and are themselves the product of collaborations between creatives and academics.

You can watch the film online at:

Further information