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Alice Sachrajda

Creative researcher and storyteller

Pictures worth thousands of words – in praise of the graphic novel

I’ve been a fan of graphic novels ever since I forayed into writing Be Here Now while at IPPR. Admittedly you could hardly call Be Here Now a novel, a collection of illustrated short stories is more accurate. But experimenting with storyboarding my research findings, and then working with an illustrator to bring them to life, sparked my interest in this medium. Illustration takes a story into an exhilarating and absorbing new dimension. Graphic novels can powerfully layer insight and meaning through the tones, shading and visual depiction of emotion.

 

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Riding the Waves: Catalysing social and environmental change through pop culture

Guest blog for Dev Comms Lab, published May 2018

Unless you’re living as a hermit in the Outer Hebrides then the chances are pop culture is shaping your thoughts, feelings and ideas about the world around you. Whether it’s television, film, sport, fashion or food, our shared mainstream culture plays a fundamental role in shaping our identity and guiding our attitudes and beliefs.

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Uproar, outrage and celebrity endorsement: Pop culture’s role pushing feminism into the mainstream

Last year I worked with the Women’s Budget Group to produce some creative resources about feminist economics. When researching the content I was inspired by Katrine Marçal’s book ‘Who cooked Adam Smith’s dinner?’ Do read and share the Women’s Budget Group resources, available here, and if you’re interested to read more, then I thoroughly recommend Marçal’s book. Caroline Criado-Perez gives it a glowing endorsement: “I genuinely believe that if everyone read Katrine Marçal’s book, patriarchy would crumble…”

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Continue reading “Uproar, outrage and celebrity endorsement: Pop culture’s role pushing feminism into the mainstream”

The Social Change Project: Creativity, social change and the role of popular culture

Guest blog for The Sheila McKechnie Foundation, published December 2017

Over the past year, I’ve been researching how popular culture can be a driver for social change in the UK. Ever since I started working on this subject there have been endless questions buzzing around my head: How do cultural movements come about? Who shapes our pop culture in the UK? How can we connect with the people who influence our culture? And how do you even define ‘pop culture’ anyway?!

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Light, Hope and the Promise of Pop Culture: Platforma, Newcastle 2017

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As the sun beamed through the windows of the St John the Baptist church in Newcastle this morning, the people gathered in the pews were bathed in lustrous hues of aquamarine, magenta, tangerine and luminous yellow. It felt like an auspicious moment for the Platforma Festival, a celebration of creativity and the arts by and about refugees and migrants. The festival is organised biennially by Counterpoints Arts and this year’s programme is set to enthrall and inspire in equal measure across the north east of England.

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Harnessing the power of stories: the ‘Trojan horse’ of engagement

Guest blog for Engagement 2017 conference, published May 23 2017

What’s the best way to persuade others of your point of view? That’s the question academics, politicians, activists and many other change-makers are grappling with in our increasingly interconnected world. At a time when we are saturated on a daily basis with endless information and data, the question of how we carry out effective and persuasive engagement is becoming increasingly salient.

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Belonging – my story

I love listening to other people’s stories. It is a deep and special privilege of a researcher to capture so much insight into other people’s lives. Earlier this year I decided to reverse the process and spend some time thinking about how to tell and share my story.

I signed up to a We Video online course run by StoryCenter. It was a thoroughly rewarding and fun experience – thank you Rob, Dascha and the rest of the team at StoryCenter! The StoryCenter methodology is based on the work of Joe Lambert, a pioneer in digital storytelling. His book, Digital Storytelling: Capturing lives, creating community is a must-read for anyone interested in creative storytelling.

So here it is, my identity story, weaving together the things that have affected me and matter most to me in my life: Belonging.

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Everyone has a story…

 

Refugee narratives must shift from dependency to opportunity

Guest blog for the RSA, posted 22 June 2017

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Generosity and hospitality are rich seams in Ancient Greek mythology. Ovid’s tale of Baucis and Philemon describes the good fortune bestowed upon a couple that showed kindness to the Greek Gods Jupiter and Mercury who were disguised as ordinary peasants. Stories with the moral of ‘xenia’ (the Greek concept of hospitality towards newcomers), teach us that good will come from aiding and showing kindness to others.

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Be kind to others and give, give, give

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It’s pretty tough out there at the moment. For anyone who cares about social justice, listening to the news in the morning and reading the paper is enough to make you want to crawl back under the duvet. But, being an eternal optimist and half-glass-full kind of a person, I am determined to remain positive. This post is a little celebration of the countless acts of kindness I witnessed while out and about in London today:

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