February 5, 2012, by Lucy

A day in the life of a Geographer … Lucy Veale

Sunday 5th February


This week I’m on a tour of the English coast with Professor Stephen Daniels. Weather permitting (I’m writing this from quite a snowy Beeston), we’re going to be visiting Mullion Harbour in Cornwall, Alkborough Flats in North Lincolnshire and the Deben Estuary in Suffolk – all by train as far as possible!


The purpose of our week-long trip is to make a short film that we’ve provisionally titled Shifting Shores: Imagining Coastal Change. A few months ago our Advisory Board suggested that we make a film featuring research undertaken by projects funded by the AHRC Landscape and Environment Programme. This sounded like a good idea and when we were asked to contribute to the ‘Planet under Pressure’ conference which is being held in London at the end of March we immediately thought of producing a short film that would showcase the value of arts and humanities research in understanding environmental change, through their focus on landscape, culture and imagination. This is an entirely new venture for both Steve and I but we are fortunate to be being guided by Ben and Tom from the film production company ‘Nice and Serious’ who specialise in making environmental films. You can watch some of the films they’ve produced here: http://www.niceandserious.com/


Over the last few weeks we’ve been liaising with Ben on our plans and ideas for the project. Our film will feature three projects that showcase different kinds of creative engagements between arts and humanities scholars and coastal landscapes. The main body of the film will be interviews/conversations between Steve and our kind contributors; Caitlin DeSilvey, a cultural geographer from the University of Exeter (Cornwall campus); Mike Pearson, Professor of Performance Studies at the University of Aberystwyth; and Simon Read, an artist and lecturer at Middlesex University. The main aim is to show how we need human and natural histories, and artistic as well as scientific perspectives on coastal change.


Steve will be narrating the film and I’ll be documenting the ‘making of’ through a fieldwork diary, photographs, film, and this blog! It’s going to be a long week, but I think really good fun too. Please do comment along the way. First stop Mullion tomorrow morning…


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