Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences


Public Engagement workshops

In Theatre was WEISS’s biggest and most ambitious public engagement programme to date. Focused on Tower Hamlets, in the months leading up to the In Theatre pop-up installation, a series of arts-mediated workshops took place with members of the public to help inform the project.

Interactive Game workshop
WEISS researcher Richard Colchester collaborated with game maker Matteo Menapace to engage with a group from Tower Hamlets who had had surgery and a group of secondary school age girls from the Mile End Community project to create a collaborative and interactive game exploring the process of healthcare research. The game is highly adaptable and now available for all WEISS researchers to use as part of their own engagement practice.

Board games on a table

Poetry workshop
With contributions from WEISS’s Nasar Aslam, Bowel Research UK, and collaborators at Oxford and Queen Mary Universities, Eeshita Azad of the British Bilingual Poetry Collective held a workshop with local people of Bangladeshi heritage and experience of bowel cancer, so all attending might learn from each other. In response, she penned a poem in English and Bengali which she also then filmed a dramatic reading of.

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/B2SPj9oMi4E

Medical Scan workshop
Artists Arieh Frosh and Ed Compson teamed up with WEISS researcher Zhi Li to run a workshop with people who had had a medical scan. Together, the group created communal artworks using chalks, laser etching and other techniques, while reflecting on their medical scanning experiences.
Canva with chalk markings on it
Textile design workshop
Artist Hafza Yusuf ran a textile design workshop with WEISS researchers Carmen Salvadores Fernandez, Shireen Jaufuraully and Katie Gallagher, representatives of Bliss (a charity for babies born premature or sick) and women from the local Somali community with experience of operative birth and/or neonatal care. The event was hosted by the Women’s Inclusive Team, a local charity supporting black and ethnic minority communities in Tower Hamlets through youth programmes and women’s empowerment projects. In response to the workshop and using the learning and materials generated from it, Hafza created six fabric prints that were shared at the pop-up exhibition during National Somali Week. In Theatre held a special launch event where the women involved were invited to join us once more. One canvas has now been sent to be displayed at each of the partner organisations.

Woven textile

Zine making workshop
Sacha Noimark, a WEISS researcher, worked with artist Soofiya to create an online zine making workshop with people who had had a surgical procedure to learn more about what they wish they had known beforehand. Soofiya collated the findings of the workshop into a magazine that was handed out at In Theatre.

Read the zine here: 

Elements of each of these works were displayed publicly at the In Theatre installation. The rest of the installation was designed and built by The Liminal Space after consultation with more than 20 researchers from across our Centre.

The programme was aided and abetted throughout by the wider UCL engagement team, the UCL East engagement team, Dingyi Wei from the Bartlett School of Architecture, and Tower Hamlets community organiser Nurull Islam.