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  • Writer's pictureRae Turpin

Belonging in the urban wilds: Seeking ecosocial research volunteers




Are you local to Southampton? Are you passionate about nature, and want to make a difference to your local green spaces? Are you interested in exploring new and creative ways of doing eco-social research?


There are multiple ways of knowing, just as there are multiple ways of relating with other people, other species and with place. I will be working in partnership with Sholing Valleys Study Centre to run open sessions with the community from May - August 2023, and am seeking volunteer researchers to join me. You will be engaging in the creation of immersive and experimental “field notes” using a range of creative and self-directed methods to reflect on your experiences.


The object of this research is to learn how we become, and build a sense of belonging, as part of a “multispecies” community. Specifically, it has two central focuses:


  1. understanding how creative and collaborative practices can support us in building and creating stronger human-nonhuman relationships and better mutual futures;

  2. exploring the role of so-called “undesirable” or “inconvenient” beings and things (e.g. litter, invasive species) in multispecies community building.


Researchers must be aged 18 or over. No prior experience is required, simply an interest in the themes of the project and willingness to get involved. The total time commitment is advised at approximately 4 hours per fortnight, but this can vary depending on the time you are able to commit. Additionally, you will be invited to attend a short introductory session prior to the project launching.


What are the benefits?


This is a unique opportunity to develop research skills, discover creative methods and build connections with people, wildlife and place in your community. It has been designed to be enjoyable and engaging, and to provide an opportunity to deepen and enrich your personal connections with other people, other species-stuff, and to reflect on the ways you live your life in this place. You may experience positive benefits from having the opportunity to engage in creative and reflective activities in your local area, such as developing your creative practice and/or building your connections with others in your community.


Additionally, your involvement will also directly contribute to research aiming to have wider benefits in knowledge-making across various disciplines (such as community development, ethics, environmental studies and education) and towards improving DIY and community-level responses to the climate crisis. There may also be opportunities for us to collectively publish together for those who are interested.


More details


This research will form part of my PhD, as such it is supported and supervised by Goldsmiths University. For more information, view and download the Participant Information Sheet (TBC) and get in touch with me (Rae Turpin - rjturpin9@gmail.com) to express interest and arrange an informal conversation.


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