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Sholing Valleys are 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?

Kicking off in the spring, we will be working with SVSC volunteer and artist-researcher, Rae, to deliver a new project, and are seeking volunteer researchers to support it through engaged observations and reflections. “The Trash Sessions” is a community project designed as a creative intervention to tackle litter at the nature reserve. As a co-researcher on this project, you will be invited to reflect on your experiences of being involved in these sessions, and encouraged to use a range of creative methods to articulate your experiences.

The object of this research is to learn how we become part of a community, with both humans and nonhumans (e.g. animals, plants and other everyday materials). It particularly focuses on how creative and collaborative practices can support us in how we build and create stronger human-nonhuman relationships and better mutual futures.

Researchers must be aged 18 or over. No prior experience is required, just an interest in the themes of the project and willingness to get involved. The total time commitment is approximately 4 hours for each fortnightly session. You will not be expected to attend every session throughout the year, but a minimum of 5 through spring - summer 2023. Additionally, you will be invited to attend a short introductory research 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 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 is supported by Goldsmiths University, and will form part of Rae's PhD research. For more information, view and download the Participant Information Sheet (for researchers) and get in touch with Rae at to express interest and arrange an informal conversation.

Deadline for expressions of interest is Monday 13 March 2023

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