Representing Communities

This project seeks to develop the creative power of people to improve health and wellbeing. The aim of this project is to establish how community representations produced through creative arts practices such as storytelling, performance and visual arts, can be used as forms of evidence to inform health-related policy and service development.

There are 5 case study areas - North Merthyr, Wales (post-industrial); Butetown, Cardiff, Wales (African-Caribbean diaspora); Hodge Hill, Birmingham, England ( Pakistani-Asian diaspora); Dennistoun, Glasgow, Scotland (inner-city) and Cromarty, The Black Isle, Scotland - a place defined by Scottish Government as 'deep rural'.

This study is developing methods for using creative art forms as a mode of communication and knowledge exchange. In each of the five distinct case-study communities we are connecting with relevant policy-makers, researchers and arts practitioners. This project will consider how perceptions and experiences of community health and wellbeing vary across time and changing circumstances, and how communities and the people living in them are represented in relation to key differences and divisions relating to gender, class, ethnicity and age.

What does the Representing Cromarty case study involve?

  1. Exploring the links between community representations of health, the dynamics of aging and rural health services provision
  2. Discussing how life in Cromarty has helped and hindered people in achieving good times and good health or in coping with the very opposite
  3. Working with both 'old' and 'new' residents of any age

Project Team This project is led by Professor Gareth Williams (PI) at the Cardiff Institute of Society, Health and Wellbeing at the University of Cardiff. In addition to Cardiff and UHI, the University of South Wales, the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, The School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine at University of Birmingham and The School of English at University of Leeds are also involved in this work.

This project runs from July 2013 - June 2016.

Project Website:
Facebook: Representing Cromarty
Twitter: @repcromarty

The project team in the north

Senior Research Fellow in Rural Health, Dr Sarah-Anne Munoz
Dr Issie MacPhail.

Funders : Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council via a Communities, Cultures, Health and Wellbeing Research Grant which is part of the Cross-Research Council Connected Communities programme.
Our Partners: NHS Highland and The Highland Archive Centre are partners in this research. The Cromarty Youth Café, High Life Highland Youth Officer, The Fourways Club, Cromarty and District Community Council, The Cromarty History Society, The Cromarty Arts Trust, Cromarty Courthouse Museum and The Cromarty Archive are co-producers in this project.