Megan Baynes, Jessica Frank-Keyes and Caitlin Doherty spoke to some of the team involved in DSDW to find out what else undergraduates can expect:
UEA’s brand new media suite, tucked away in the music centre (next to the Shop, for the uninitiated) is a labyrinthine nest of corridors and staircases. But it’s well worth navigating the Tardis-like building for access to the rooms of Macs, radio studios and editing equipment. Intended “predominantly for arts and humanities students,” and to enable the “digitisation of the humanities,” the low key atmosphere in the offices is a contrast to the serious money that UEA has clearly invested here. Do Different Week is a chance for the wider university body to make use of the resources, and Tracey Tutt, the media suite manager, couldn’t be more excited for the ‘Get Pixelated’ course.
She describes alphabet photography as simply “taking photos of objects that make up words,” and hopes that students can “go out and about to look all around UEA’s architecture. It’s interesting to look all around the university… and not only ‘do different’ but perhaps ‘see different’.”
“We’re going to print them out and put them up and there’ll be a prize for the best one. We’ve got a great big creative practice lab, full of Macs and we’ve got Photoshop on it, so we’re going to a couple of sessions so people know what they’re doing with their images.” However, you don’t need a fancy camera –
your iPhone will be more than enough to take part in the challenge, and the media team will teach you all you need to know to “get creative with vignettes, filters, and cropping.”
‘Get Pixelated,’ however, is an equally Instagram-able photography technique, this time involving the use of people as props to create stop-motion style films. Tracey is keen for students to use UEA’s scenery as a background to their animated footage.
“We’re giving students a chance to go out with our video cameras and they’ll be capturing single frames, hopefully in small groups, and getting some footage from around the university…you could have some very interesting stuff.”
Oedipus at Colonus
Rupert Read, a senior member of the philosophy department, is running a play reading of the classic ‘Oedipus at Colonus’ by Sophocles. He said, “this play poses big questions about fate, human action, when something is right and when something is wrong. It examines the way communities scapegoat people and the way that scapegoating can be transformative as Oedipus goes on a journey from being the king of the thieves to being the scapegoat for all the problems of the thieves.
“We are interested to think about how that process works and how people use scapegoating processes in a productive way.”
This play is often thought to be the most famous and important of the greek tragedies as it deals with Oedipus at the height of his tragedy. Rupert, and fellow professor Catherine Rowett, want to get people who are interested in philosophy, drama, greek tragedy, or any of the issues that present themselves in the world. The evening will feature a short reading of the play, followed by a discussion on the issues presented.
Despite being set in 401 BC Rupert believes that this play still has great relevance today: “we live in a time when an enormous amount of scapegoating is going on.
Take the classic targeting of refugees: what people don’t realise is how deep the desire to scapegoat goes. Are the people who voted leave scapegoated by the people who voted remain? How can we live together without the vicious scapegoating?”
The event takes place on Friday 3rd at 4pm. MB
Hannah and Danielle will be running HeartStart first aid and resuscitation courses during Do Different Week. They will be offering two hour courses every day, providing CPR and resuscitation training that give the public emergency life saving skills.
The sessions will cover a variety of medical scenarios and skills: how to put somebody into the recovery position, how to treat choking or severe bleeds, as well as emergency life support including CPR and how to use a defibrillator.
The girls believe that these skills are “not only important for students. 30,000 people have an out of hospital cardiac arrest every year, only one in ten of those survive. A lot of those are because CPR was not administered in the first critical minutes, we call them ‘The Golden Five Minutes’. If there is no CPR administered in the first six minutes, there is nothing you can do. It’s really important because currently, the ambulance response time is about 7 minutes for a cardiac arrest.
“It’s all about giving confidence. If you called an ambulance, they would tell you how to do CPR over the phone, but some people get scared and refuse. We talk about everybody’s worries that could come up if facing somebody having a cardiac arrest. People are worried about doing it wrong, that they might hurt them more by doing it. They’re scared that they’re going to break ribs. People have to remember that the people they’re performing CPR on are already dead, you’re not going to make it any worse. They are medically dead.”
These sessions are funded by the British Heart Foundation and free, even outside of Do Different Week. CD
The General Theory
Fabio Arico is a lecturer in the school of Economics, and he sat down with me to explain his involvement in Do Different Week, and why we should pay more attention to the economic systems that control society.
“[During Do Different Week] I am going to do a reading of the The General Theory [of Employment, Interest and Money] by John Maynard Keynes. The idea with Keynes is that reading ‘the Classics’ has come back, it’s trendy after the post-crash in 2008/2009, people have realised that the current economic theories are not working that well.
“Keynes was actually the first one who outlined the workings of the financial markets and one of the important things he says – which is still not always accounted these days – is that you see models – there are models for this economic situation, models for that economic situation – but what really happens in a crisis is not that we need a new model, but people lose confidence in the fact that the model works. It’s when you stop believing it that it becomes a problem.”
Economics can seem daunting, especially when it is such a dominant force in our news narratives, but Fabio believes that these Keynes readings are a good introduction to economic theory.
“As soon as people hear things about economics or financial markets the think that it’s something really complicated and disengage with the whole thing. At the same time, their decision about how they want to vote for politicians is often based on economics. It’s important to have people a little more engaged, and understand the mechanisms around financial markets. We are not assuming that everybody has to become an economist, but having people engaged is important.”
Poppy Damazar, President of UEA’s brand new Opera Society, is hosting an open rehearsal of the society’s production of Dido and Aeneas. She describes the piece, an English Baroque era opera by the composer Henry Purcell, as having: “a very powerful story and very good music.”
The production opens the week after Do Different Week, at Norwich’s Garage Theatre, and will be performed on the 10th and 11th of March. But the open rehearsal, held in the Strode Room in UEA’s Music Centre is open to all students. Poppy says the experience of “seeing things in rehearsal” is very different to watching the final production, and encouraged anyone unsure about getting involved to come along. A lot of people probably won’t have experienced opera so this is the perfect chance to get involved with your fellow students. [We’re] very enthusiastic and willing to talk about it. None of us have ever done anything like this before. It’s brand new for all of us, we’re learning on the job.” Poppy adds that producing the performance is her singing teacher, who used to be the principal soprano of the English National Opera. “Hopefully at the rehearsal we’ll have all the people there, so its the perfect thing if you’ve never thought about opera before.” JFK