Creative Challenge Series
The Creative Challenge Series aims to show the scope of social science research and the artist’s relevance in today’s society as explorers of the challenges and issues that surround us.
Throughout this series, we reflect on the relationship between the social sciences, the arts and the phenomena of knowledge and education, gender equality, data ethics, and the environment. We take up these issues in a dialogue between academic specialists in these fields and artists working on these themes in order to create an index of ideas on the subjects.
As a springboard to generate new perspectives on the given themes, The Creative Challenge Series emphasises how joint-ventures could lead to coping mechanisms in a changing world, and present new models of looking at, and potentially tackling, the key issues of our time.
Explore the programme of events below and register for sessions via EventBrite now:
The new normal: what is education after isolation?
The new normal: what is education after isolation?REGISTER
As digital technologies open new markets, new scenes, and new possibilities for entrepreneurs, innovative opportunities for education and work have consequently multiplied, along with the challenges. This conversation looks at the notion of academic rigor through the lens of interdisciplinary practice. It questions various aspects of education in today’s universities, and how interdisciplinary approaches, new technologies, digital cultures and informal learning might challenge traditional educational frameworks and stimulate flexibility towards knowledge delivery and accumulation. If we are able to follow journeys rather policy requirements, to recognise mistakes and adjust approaches, can we build a more inclusive and sustainable form of learning?Nicole MaloofMaintaining a multidisciplinary art practice, spanning drawing, printmaking, and video, Nicole Maloof’s work investigates social relations, zooming in and out from the level of personal intimacy to the larger scale of society. Through these mediums, Nicole challenges and explores the artifice of categorical boundaries, and by extension, their social repercussions. In exploring new ways of knowledge delivery and learning, Nicole constantly investigates what it means to know, and asks: is it possible to trust conventional disciplines and institutions of knowledge, let alone our own individual sensory input and resulting memories?Claire GordonClaire Gordon is the Director of LSE’s Eden Centre and sits on a number of School Committees and working groups. Claire is the Departmental Adviser to the departments of Economic History, the European Institute, Government, International Relations and Sociology, and has a particular interest in reward and recognition in higher education, developing research-based curricula to empower students in their learning, and assessment and feedback. Prior to joining the Eden Centre, Claire worked for ten years as a teaching fellow at the LSE’s European Institute with a particular focus on transition, EU enlargement and emerging political economies in Central and South East Europe and has been involved in a number of higher education and research capacity building projects in the Westerns Balkans.
The politics of air: how does context motivate our environmental choices?
The politics of air: how does context motivate our environmental choices?REGISTER
When everyone is forced to stay home, the planet and animals seem to flourish. CO2 emissions decline, noise pollution is minimized, and as the economy is struggling, less waste is produced. This is the time to reflect on our economic system and contemplate a transition to a moral economy that is a subsystem of the human society, which in itself, is a subsystem of the biosphere. What are the economics behind sustainable development and pollution control? How are climate change, capitalism and sustainable well-being intertwined? This conversation looks at human responses to climate change and extinction in context of the political economy of welfare states as well as human needs and well-being.Josefina NelimarkkaJosefina Nelimarkka graduated from the Royal College of Art in London and the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. She was the artist-in-residence at SPACE Art + Technology in 2018 and the SMEAR II international climate research station in 2019. Currently, she contributes to Intelligence Debiased Research Group at Exposed Arts Projects. In her research-based practice, Josefina is engaged with the politics of air, the circulation of climate and the phenomenology of environmental data. In examining the interactive space arising from the transient states, between process and the physical world, her works and exhibitions encourage people to rethink their relationship with the natural world and bring the critical connections between atmosphere, ecosystem and society into question.Dr Ganga ShreedhaGanga Shreedha is an Assistant Professor in Behavioural Science in LSE’s Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, and an Affiliate of the Department of Geography and Environment. Ganga is an applied behavioural and experimental economist studying how to change human behaviour in ways that simultaneously benefit people and the planet. She is interested in how, when and why people take action - or fail to – to address complex and ‘wicked’ global environmental social dilemmas like climate change and the sixth mass extinction.
Identity and data ethics: what does it mean to be human in digital space?
Identity and data ethics: what does it mean to be human in digital space?REGISTER
Data ethics are at the centre of social theory as they are strongly linked to media, communication, culture and power. Most of them examine aspects of privacy, surveillance, platform capitalism, and technological equitability: the human interest should always be in the centre, an individual should be in control over their data, data processing should be transparent, companies should be accountable for how they process data, and equality needs to be granted to all individuals. However, navigating digital space is first and foremost a social, inherently human endeavour, regardless of the technology involved. Switching and merging virtual and physical identities is a challenge especially in times of social isolation and distancing. Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Twitch are the big winners of this time. But what does this shift to online existence and interactions mean for our mediated identities? How do people’s identities and values influence the way we use and built technologies, and how in return, do technological systems shape the way we work, live and communicate together?Linn Phyllis SeegerWorking at the interface between photography, video, and 3D animation, Linn Phyllis Seeger’s work is rooted in digital photographic practices and screen-based media. She examines tools of identity formation, generating case studies of how to bear up against the abstract spaces of virtuality, and urban landscapes. As both a PHD candidate at the Royal College of Art and curator of the PhotoBook Museum in Cologne, Linn Phyllis Seeger lives and works in the cloud.Professor Ellen HelsperEllen Helsper is Professor of Digital Inequalities in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE, and Programme Director for the MSc Media and Communications (Research). Her current research interests include the links between social and digital inequalities; mediated interpersonal communication; participatory immersive digital spaces (VR, ER); and quantitative and qualitative methodological developments in media and communications research. Ellen consults widely for governments, the third and commercial sectors on issues to do with client and citizen engagement in increasingly digital societies.
Gender dimensions: how is inequality produced and reproduced in a time of crisis?
Gender dimensions: how is inequality produced and reproduced in a time of crisis?REGISTER
Gender inequality has become exacerbated in this current crises. Intersecting inequalities, oppressions and hierarchies influence not only popular representations of these inequalities but also institutional responses to these. This talk centres on the question of representational justice. Through examining representation of violence against women in art as a departure point, it pulls into focus not only the question of how we tell stories, but also the importance of telling different stories without losing sight of a sense of ethics.Zoé AubryIn addition to teaching photography at ECAL/University of Art and Design of Lausanne, Zoé Aubry founded the non-profit association noeme which has worked for the diffusion and reflection on the contemporary artistic image and the magazine KILOMÈTRES, a research space linking curatorial, theoretical and visual approaches. Based on anthropological investigations, Zoé’s artistic practice is built on a relationship between societal phenomena and individual experiences. Creating spaces of confrontation, her work is a criticism of contemporary society, juggling between critical, poetic and political dimensions.Dr Sumi MadhokSumi Madhok is Associate Professor at the Department of Gender Studies, LSE. Trained as a feminist political theorist, Sumi’s research, writing and teaching is organised around the central question: how does one produce theory and concepts in ‘non-standard’ background conditions? As a committed interdisciplinary scholar, her teaching and scholarship lies at the intersection of feminist political theory and philosophy, coloniality / postcoloniality, transnational activism and social movements, rights/human rights, citizenship, developmentalism and ethnography.