Learning Lab explores issues of migration, the creative arts and social change, together with the role and value of the arts and culture as a necessary, democratic right. Learning Lab is committed to the collective power of public learning and the constructive risks entailed in pushing the boundaries of accepted knowledge and practice.
Learning Lab believes in making research an accessible activity for everyone. Learning Labs are designed to mobilise horizontal, democratic spaces for peer-to-peer learning and the creation of new knowledge.
Labs are designed to facilitate cross-sector, cross-community activities and critical reflection – where no one participant can claim hierarchy of thought or skill.
Labs are designed to facilitate lively imagining and debate, forging alliances between filmmakers and creative artists, cultural workers, curators, educators, community organisers, advocacy and not-for-profit and cultural business sectors. The design of the Lab fits the topic being explored.
Labs open up space for thinking and doing. They take many forms: roundtables, extended workshops, practical studios, mentoring, screenings, interviews, and online engagement.
Learning Lab Editions is where we share our learning in the form of freely accessible resources: including films, audio, interviews (both short and longer form) and on video/podcast and transcribed. You can also access critical essays, working papers, project case studies and reviews (both long and short).
When establishing Learning Lab in collaboration with the British Council in Dublin in 2010, we designed a space that would bring diverse learners together to debate, share, trade, reflect and step outside their busy everyday work lives. Artists, activists, educators and cultural workers, among others, contributed to Labs. We took our conceptual lead from cultural studies scholar, Stuart Hall, who describes cultural identities as having histories yet constantly undergoing ‘transformation’. We invited participants to bring their practices and ways of creative thinking to the broader question of ‘cultural identity and social justice’ with a strong focus on migration. What resulted was a rich mix of activities: public events, screenings, workshops and roundtables.
Originally led by FOMACS (Forum on Migration and Communications). Supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies.