I used the funding received through the Research Support Award to attend the Music, Research and Activism conference at the University Helsinki in Finland. I presented as part of the Sonic Rebellions panel together with fellow researchers Baljit Kaur (University of Brighton) and Celeste Cantor-Stephens (independent researcher).
Sonic Rebellions is a network of researchers, artists and activists investigating the relationship between sound and social justice through their research and practice. It was established by Wanda Canton (University of Brighton) who organised the inaugural two day Sonic Rebellions conference in May 2022 at the University of Brighton.
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At the initial Sonic Rebellions conference I presented my research on DIY culture in Manchester’s electronic music scene. This time around at the Music, Research and Activism conference I presented a further developed version of this piece of research in which I focus on Manchester’s electronic music scene and the role of DIY culture from a queer perspective. In doing so I am using FLUFF as case study. FLUFF is a Manchester-based queer electronica night I set up with Anna Appleby, a fellow electronic musician and performer.
Developing this piece of research allowed me to experiment with integrating reflections from my own experience into my research with the aim to inspire other musicians in their practice.
Presenting at the Music, Research and Activism conference was a useful experience. It felt validating to present a reflective piece of research which incorporates my personal experience as practitioner and to receive a lively response from the audience.
In the Q&A some of the conference attendees connected concepts of my presentation, for example DIY culture, to their experiences as artists. This showed me that theory can be used as a tool to reflect on practice and to inspire others in their practice, too.
While I inspired others to speak about their experience, they in turn also gave me recommendations on where to expand my research and suggested further reading. Overall, this exchange felt positive and constructive.