Re-Connecting Children with Water Histories: Memory And Media Archives
On the 22nd of March 2018, the Centre hosted Joanne Garde-Hansen (University of Warwick) and Peter Kraftl (University of Birmingham), who shared early results of their new research project on the intersections between broadcasting and flood histories.
The project explores how the history of water events can be mapped onto the history of broadcasting in the UK, and what this might offer our understanding of the relationship between broadcasting and an environmental consciousness, or a “watery sense of place.” In particular, the project is interested in how children are situated and addressed within these discourses, and how material from media archives might help us understand how children have historically been positioned as environmental agents, and how this relates to current sustainability communication and education.
The workshop was designed to share the early results of scoping research and to identify priorities, questions and potential impacts of a future research project on children and flood/drought/water histories. Participants at the workshop included Owain Jones (Bath Spa University), Lindsey McEwen (University of the West of England), Joao Porto De Albuquerque (Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, Warwick), Helen Wheatley (University of Warwick), Ifor Duncan (Goldsmiths), Amanda Bingley (Lancaster University), Laura Gottelier (Environmental Agency), and Zoë Shacklock (University of Warwick).
Early scoping research undertaken at the BBC written archives has found a rich array of material on the relationship between children, floods, and broadcasting, pertaining to programming, correspondence and media governance. The group discussed these findings with relation to questions of temporality, national identity, storytelling, and children’s sense of an environmental consciousness. The workshop raised a number of interesting research questions with regard to communicating risk to children, questions of intergenerational memory and community, and how archival material might be a tool to empower children (and adults) in contemporary flood discourses.