Nottingham – ECPR

25th to 30th of November.  The curious and interesting architectural park of the University of Nottingham hosted this overpriced event. A beautiful university, geese amongst students and scholars like souls wandering of former academics with unfinished issues, and beautiful colors and textures: wooden buildings, water pods, inside gardens with couching corners of wifi and reflection. A peaceful inspiring environment in the busy traffic-flooded Nottingham.

The workshop on Digital Media and the Spatial Transformation of Public Contention was an impressive exercise, a mindblowing process, it required and sucked me into a long time wished and invigorating absolute dedication: what a stimulating workshop. I had not learned that much, that fast, and that intensely in years, and this is the actual trigger that led to re-starting this blog.

Deliverers and organisers did an amazing job at moderating, at pulling the stuff together and at keeping schedule. Of course, in general, the contributions formed a rich dispersion of varied and strong contents, of suggestive intentions and of grounded styles, and the flow of theoretical perspectives combined with the solid efforts of empirical resolution. I would have liked a proper end: an actual outcome, or a publishable set collectively signed of conclusions, or a manifesto of daring spatial transformations of public contention. And still, an amount of seasoned researchers sharing space with novel participants, there was a little of everything and after the four days we had a fully populated google document with literature, mentions, and comments. Not yet an final but somehow getting there, shook up efervescent inspiration.

Had it not been for the unashamed prices of the ECPR experience and of the parking and lunches of the University of Nottingham, the whole workshop would have almost reached perfection.

And it left me with a crucial drive and intention of bringing the program to action and revisit, in the coming posts, the participants and their papers, their abstracts and intentions. One after the other, I will report the contributions punctuating them with stops for the revision of the theoretical concepts and the recursive names that, with each one of our presentations, over those four days of coffee and excitement, were invoked.

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Sun

It’s been a cold and lonely winter.

It feels like years since it’s been here.

Here comes the sun.

This is the start. Long terms of accumulated learnings and mind-streching deliveries. It is time now, to begin to bring together the dispersion of inputs and thoughts, of names and frames, of images and sounds that have been echoing in chambers of silence for too long. There is enough to say, now; and there is even more to spread in posts that work somewhere between the reminder and the proposal, between the stimulus and the response.

This is the perfect place for this blog: the uncertain space before the proper content, after the first formless impression. A wonder womb of ideas growing, an incubator for (im)possibles. A strand for thoughts and of intentions.

I wanted this first post to be poetic. Unashamedly slightly nostalgic and irreverently non-academic. It is a form of a liberating statement and a reminder to myself. I do not want this blog to be tightened up by the academic drive, or to hold the pretentious tension of the absolute truth. Rigour and commitment should not be incompatible with sensations, with feelings and with the very personal meanders of emotion.

After all, there is no learning without feeling.

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