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  • Writer's pictureCultural Practices


Jenna Ashton

Lecturer in Heritage studies, Dr Jenna C. Ashton, leads a 24-month £417,445 AHRC research project ‘Community Climate Resilience through Folk Pageantry’.

The project is one of three funded UK projects exploring how societies have understood and adapted to climate change in the past – and how we can learn from them to become more resilient to the impacts of future climate change – have been funded by the UK Climate Resilience Programme “Living with Climate Uncertainty” call.

The call, worth £1million in total, seeks to understand how communities have experienced and learned to cope with change and loss from climate changes, and the skills, attitudes, values and approaches needed to live with on-going uncertainty.

Anticipating how people will be affected by and will respond to future climate changes is a priority concern that informs the focus of this call. The call is led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) but, like all the SPF UK Climate Resilience programme (UKCR) funded research, the projects take an interdisciplinary approach.

Dr Ashton works with Co-Is Dr Kevin Malone, Reader in Composition, Music, SALC, and Professor Sarah Lindley, Geography, SEED.

“Community Climate Resilience through Folk Pageantry” offers a creative, imaginative and interdisciplinary practice-as-research project focusing on community knowledge to deliver a Manchester-focused case study responding directly to its climate action policies and community contexts. The project builds on existing research practices of the PI and Co-Is across intersectional areas of geography, mapping, performance, music, socially-engaged arts practices, and intangible and material heritages.

The issues to be explored include: how a community articulates its perspectives on social justice and equality with regard to climate resilience; how interdisciplinary creativity can be researched and applied to activate community climate resilience; how a community can create, own and embed creative outcomes for resilience; the means to best transfer these methods to policy-makers for wider implementation.

Project partners include Manchester Climate Change Agency (MCCA), Manchester City Council (MCC), Neighbourhoods North Manchester (Miles Platting & Newton Heath ward), Northern Chamber Orchestra (NCO) and National Trust North Region (NT), with advisory and impact-related support from Manchester Arts and Sustainability Team (MAST) and the EU C-Change Project, Manchester Institute of Education (MIE, UoM), and the Black Environment Network (BEN). A Bird in the Hand Theatre’s puppet maker and director Alison Duddle is a co-creator.

Planned Outputs from the project include: pageant performances in Miles Platting & Newton Heath; a schools resource licensed learning and performance pack; toolbox for creative methods workshops for policy practitioners and neighbourhood managers; documentation; recommendations report for transferability of creative practices, and other published papers and project book.

For further information, contact PI – Dr Jenna C. Ashton:


t: @heritagemcr

Project site and Twitter:


t: @CreativeResMcr

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