Case Studies

Over two years, Common Cause Research interviewed collaborative research projects, in collaboration with these projects we have produced 19 case studies and 15 short films.

These case studies showcase different approaches to collaboration between Black and Minority Ethnic community or arts organisations and universities.

We hope that these examples, which include contributions from the community/arts and university partner, will encourage discussion and reflection on the many ways in which partnerships can approach collaborative research.


View or download case study: Imagine (PDF, 899kB)

Imagine: Writing in the Community was part of a broader initiative called Imagine, a five year project from 2013 to 2017. Partner organisations for Imagine: Writing in the Community included the University of Sheffield, a charity working with children and families, a local library, the Youth Service, a school and a community sports trust charity.

The project aimed to create safe spaces in which women and girls could explore, through narratives and writing, the social and cultural context of the lives of minority ethnic women in Rotherham.

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The Southall Story

View or download case study: The Southall Story (PDF, 556kB)

Community partners for The Southall Story are three independent artists/activists who came together to work with the University of Exeter as the lead research organisation, with support from the University of Roehampton.

The aim of The Southall Story project was to research, document and disseminate the cultural history of Southall since 1979, a year that informed the creation of several social, political and cultural organisations and festivals to unite the communities.

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Green and Black: Photovoice

View or download case study: Green and Black – Photovoice (PDF, 359kB)

Photovoice: Through my Lens (Photovoice) is part of the wider Green and Black initiative that was first launched by Ujima Radio in Bristol, to highlight and address the exclusion of Black and Minority Ethnic communities in Bristol’s environmental sustainability efforts.

In 2014, the University of Bristol’s Cabot Institute and Policy Bristol came together with Bristol Green Capital Partnership and Ujima to explore how to tackle this concern together.

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What I’d Like You To Know About Me

View or download case study: What I’d Like You To Know About Me (PDF, 942kB)

Translating the Experience of Emotional Distress was part of the broader international research project Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Body, Law and the State (Researching Multilingually).

The project was one of five that focused on documenting, analysing and comparing the complex translation processes associated with understanding and supporting the mental health needs of people living in Scotland and Uganda.

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Life Chances

This case study will be available shortly to view or download.

Life Chances: Reimagining regulatory systems for low income families in urban settings is one of several projects undertaken as part of the Productive Margins: Regulating for Engagement programme.

Funded to be undertaken between December 2013 and August 2016, Life Chances had a key focus on examining how regulatory services impact on families and children to develop their potential and contribute to society.

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Bass Culture

This case study will be available shortly to view or download.

Bass Culture aims to research and record the hidden heritage of Jamaican and Jamaican-influenced music in Britain from the 1960’s to present day, this heritage is described as having no ready access for schools, universities or cultural institutions such as archives and museums.

The University of Westminster, Goldsmiths University of London, University of Leicester and SOAS University of London collaborated with several community partners including Black Cultural Archives, The British Library and Fully Focused Productions.

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Hidden Histories of World War One

View or download case study: Hidden Histories (PDF, 605kB)

Hidden Histories: Ramgarhia Sikh Tapestry Project was funded by the Centre for Hidden Histories, which is based at the University of Nottingham. The collaboration was between a group of Sikh women in Leicester and two academic advisors from the University of Nottingham who are also Co-Investigators with the Centre for Hidden Histories.

The aim of the project was to support the women to undertake research on the contribution of Sikh soldiers to the First World War.

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Instruments India

View or download case study: Instruments India (PDF, 890kB)

This collaboration between Milapfest and Liverpool Hope University was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and undertaken between September 2012 and June 2013.

Intercultural Creativity in Electroacoustic Music (Intercultural Creativity) aimed to examine the process of collecting and incorporating Indian cultural sounds originating from Indian musical instruments into new electroacoustic music compositions.

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Making Histories

View or download case study: Making Histories (PDF, 807kB)

Making Histories: teaching community, heritage and diversity in the National History Curriculum (also known as the History Lessons project) was a collaboration, between the University of Manchester, University of Cambridge and the Runnymede Trust.

The project aimed to develop a resource to support the learning and teaching of diverse histories within the new national curriculum and explore inclusive ways of doing this.

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In Flux

View or download case study: In Flux (PDF, 866kB)

In Flux is a collaboration between Excavate, a community theatre company, and The Centre for Hidden Histories (CHH) at the University of Nottingham undertaken between June 2015 and July 2017.

The project aimed to examine the history of borders in the Middle East and the implications of their collapse on those living in, or fleeing from, the wars taking place in this region.

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Khyal Music and Imagination

View or download case study:  Khyal (PDF, 351kB)

The Khyal: Music and Imagination project brought together musicians, ethnomusicologists and visual artists to explore the khyal genre and stimulate the production of original works of visual art inspired by the music.

This collaboration between GemArts and Durham University builds on a previous AHRC funded research project, The reception of performance in North Indian classical music.

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Chinese Digital Storytelling Project

View or download case study:  Chinese Digital Storytelling Project (PDF, 364kB)

This collaboration between the Swansea Chinese Community Co-Op Centre (SCCCC) and Swansea University was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and undertaken over a one year period between October 2012 and September 2013. It set out to document the experience of the first migrants from China to settle in Swansea and local areas.

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Vernacular Religion

View or download case study: Vernacular Religion (PDF, 1MB)

Vernacular Religion was a collaboration between the Centre for Nepal Studies UK (CNSUK) and the University of Oxford. It examined the lived religious experience of people of Nepali origin in relation to their: personal quests for salvation through regular religious practice; attempts to build different forms of community; propitiation of gods and spirits for help with worldly problems such as illness or other misfortunes.

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Minding Black Histories

View or download case study: Minding Black Histories (PDF, 600kB)

The Minding Black Histories project, a collaboration between the African Community Heritage Hub and Birmingham City University, was undertaken over a six-month period between June and December 2016. It set out to tell the stories of Congolese servicemen of the First World War, about whom very little is known in the UK.

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60 Untold Stories of Black Britain

View or download case study: 60 Untold Stories (PDF, 699kB)

60 untold Stories of Black Britain is a collaboration between the community partners Friends of The Marsha Phoenix Trust and the Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. It explores and celebrates the lives of the children of migrants from the Caribbean who came to Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, described as the first Black Caribbean children to pass through the British educational system.

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The Bench Project

View or download case study: The Bench Project (PDF, 487kB)

The Bench Project was a collaboration between The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sussex with Greenwich Inclusion Project and The Young Foundation.

The aim of the research was to explore stories, memories and activities of people sitting in outdoor spaces. The project was interested in looking at urban neighbourhoods where people ‘hang out’ and where such spaces can become points of exclusion and disconnection or sociability and belonging.

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View or download case study (PDF, 312kB)

The PASAR project applies participatory action research (PAR) approaches to engage marginalised communities in research as co-producers of knowledge. This case study looks at one strand involving collaboration between Praxis Community Projects and the PASAR project focusing on families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) and no other means of sufficient self-support.

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Slave Trade Legacies

View or download case study (PDF, 380kB)

This collaboration brings together two projects. Slave Trade Legacies: Colour of Money was led by Bright Ideas Nottingham to look at whether visitor attractions in the UK acknowledge their links to the transatlantic slave trade. Global Cotton Connections was led by the University of Nottingham to explore how raw materials like cotton, grown on slave plantations, have contributed to Britain’s material wealth.

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Bigger Picture

This case study will be available shortly to view or download.

The Bigger Picture: Impact of intergenerational arts programmes on minority communities aims to examine intergenerational arts programmes of particular cultural institutions in Nottingham, to look at to look at the processes within participating institutions and the broader social environment that impact on community access to arts and culture programmes.

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