UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Post-pandemic hybrid experiments: Collaborative, creative methods for making prosperous futures

09 March 2023, 4:30 pm–6:00 pm

Favela in Brazil

The IGP welcomes Beckie Coleman (Bristol University) for a Director's Seminar

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Institute for Global Prosperity


103, Jeffery Hall
Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
United Kingdom

Post-pandemic hybrid experiments: Collaborative, creative methods for making prosperous futures 

For many people, the Covid-19 pandemic involved a rapid and large-scale shift from in-person to digital encounters across work, education, medicine, shopping and socialising. As lockdowns lifted and the UK government dropped pandemic measures, hybrid spaces which brought together in-person and online elements, became increasingly common. Today, a time in-between the days of strict pandemic restrictions and the ‘return to normal’, is a moment to reflect on how hybrid futures that are accessible, inclusive and sensory might be shaped.

This paper discusses a collaborative project with Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC), a digital arts organisation based in south Bristol creating thriving neighbourhoods through arts tech and care. In this project, through arts-based, creative methods, we examined how we might ensure that accessible, inclusive and sensory experiences raised by doing things online are not lost in a rush to return to in-person ways of doing things, and that access to culture and creativity don’t just disappear. We explored and developed a series of hybrid experiments that utilised a range of popular and easily available digital and analogue technologies that we tried out at a community festival. We created activities that ‘stretched’ hybrid beyond the live festival itself, including videos made and circulated on social media before the day to give people a sense of the venue and what to expect, postcards that people could send to those who couldn’t be there, Youtube playlists and posting craft packs to people for them to complete in their own time, as well as Facebook and Zoom live streams during the event itself. In centring questions of accessibility, inclusion and the senses and in stretching what hybrid can be, we sought to shift from only live and synchronous events to creating experiences that people might take up and shape themselves. If questions of social justice and fairness permeate prosperity, this paper provides one example of how we might understand the role of popular digital culture in shaping better futures.

The speaker
Rebecca’s research crosses sociology, media and cultural studies and feminist theory, and she has particular interests in the everyday life of media; temporality (futures and presents); bodies, affect and new materialisms; and inventive methodologies. She is the author of three monographs and co-editor of four journal special issues, one journal special section and one book. She is Professor in the Bristol Digital Futures Institute (BDFI) and the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS). She has previously worked in the Sociology Departments at Goldsmiths, University of London and Lancaster University.

Part of the 2023 Spring Series of Soundbites and Director's Seminars - Prosperity and the Popular 

Original image by anja_schindler from Pixabay