Body Image and Avon River projects launch

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The Public Engagement Unit’s biggest and most ambitious projects will be launching this year. Both the Changing Rooms; Changing Views and River is the Venue projects received £10,000 in funding from our Innovate programme to create innovative interdisciplinary engagement collaborating with the local community. Find out more about how the projects were funded here.

Changing Rooms; Changing Views aims to provoke and collect public perceptions of body image, challenge media led expectations, empower people to think and act differently about positive bodies and their appearance and contribute to fostering a positive body image community. Dr Melissa Atkinson from the Department of Psychology will be working in collaboration with Kilter theatre and Hollie-Ann Hart, a Bristol based body illustrator to produce ‘The Cubicle’, a portable changing room which will challenge public perceptions of positive body image through art, mirrors, tactile experience and a prompting script. Reactions to the ‘The Cubicle’ from participants will be used to create ‘The Every Body Script’ in collaboration with Kilter which will praise the human body and all its functions.

The cubicle will visit various community groups and be on display at 44AD studios during Bath Fringe from May 25 – June 10 accompanied by a body positive café and art exhibition.

River is the Venue sets out to show the symbiotic link between the flooding of the river Avon and the cultural and economic development of Bath. Dr Chrysoula Papacharalampou and Dr Thomas Kjeldsen from the Department of Architecture and Engineering and Dr Simon Hayhoe from the Department of Education will be meeting with key stakeholders including Wessex Water, the Bath and North-East Summerset Council, local communities (e.g. people with disabilities) and educational institutions (e.g. local primary schools and Bath Spa University). From these, an inclusive art space centred on flooding will be collaboratively set up by people with disabilities and other access needs from the local community in Bath. The art space will be constructed between April – November 2018.

Researchers from the University of Bath are working with 44AD studios, Royal United Hospital and Art at the Heart of the Royal United Hospital to ensure the River is the Venue project design is democratic and inclusive. For more information read Dr. Chrysoula Papacharalampou’s blog post.

Professor Gregory Maio (Head of Department, Psychology) said: “We are delighted to be in receipt of one of the Innovate projects as it directly supports our Departmental Engagement and Impact strategy by making a positive contribution to the lives of others and generating new directions for research and teaching. It’s exciting to see research being used to challenge and empower the public to think differently about body image and how we, as researchers, can learn from the diverse experiences of the public.”

Find out more about how the projects were funded

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