Bodies at Play

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Child drawing on a wall

Contact information

LU Arts
01509 222948

Play is often opposed to learning. At school it takes place in the playground and at playtime, largely separated from the 'serious' business occurring in the classroom. Yet play is a fantastically creative form through which bodies come together to reshape one another, their environments and their futures. This also makes it a powerful educational form.

Through film and discussion, this event will explore the politics and material cultures of play. It will explore to what (and whose) ends play might be mobilised, and consider play's relationship to technologies of data collection and storage.

The event will open with a screening of Helen McCrorie’s film 'If play is neither inside not outside, where is it?' (2019), which centres on a child-led outdoor playgroup in the grounds of a former military camp in Scotland. Adapted for imaginative play and experiential learning, the site is also home to a data storage facility. Celebrating the innate creativity of the childrens’ play, the film also traces connections and divergences between data gathering and learning.

Following this, Helen will take part in a conversation with Dr Sarah Mills, Reader in Human Geography at Loughborough University. Dr Mills' research explores the geographies of childhood and education; investigating the spatial, sonic and material cultures of learning, play and the imagination; and connecting these to broader questions of politics and power.

This event forms part of the public programme for the exhibition of This is Just What I Saw, Katarina Hruskova’s Radar commission, developed in collaboration with Dr Mills. This will be open and free to visit in Martin Hall Exhibition Space from 5pm prior to the event.

'If play is neither inside nor outside, where is it?' was commissioned by Collective Edinburgh.

Helen McCrorie's recent exhibitions and screenings include Against the Flow, Perth Playhouse, Platform Festival, Culture PK, 2018; This Is It – Universe at No. 35 Gallery, Bannockburn, 2017; and The Clock in Commune, The Glasite Meeting House, Edinburgh Art Festival, 2016.

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