An Edge Hill academic who studied in Birmingham’s Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies has helped produce an exhibition to mark the fiftieth anniversary of its establishment.
Roger Shannon, Professor of Film and Television at Edge Hill University worked with photographer Mahasiddhi, formerly known as Roy Peters, to take photos of his contemporaries at the centre, where they all studied between 1975 and 1979.
Mahasiddhi visited old friends and colleagues in their homes, places of work, at cafes and even outside a football ground to capture their personalities and celebrate the individuality of each sitter which are now on show in the exhibition Back in the CCCS.
The Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) pioneered the academic study of popular culture and became one of the biggest influences on the development of cultural and media studies around the world.
The Centre produced many key studies and developed the careers of prominent researchers and academics. For example, Stuart Hall, who became the centre’s director in 1968, developed his seminal Encoding/Decoding model here. The centre was closed in 2002 but its fiftieth anniversary is being marked by a series of events and the establishment of an archive of the CCCS at the University of Birmingham.
Professor Shannon said: “’Collaborating with the photographer, Mahasiddhi, on the exhibition, Back in the CCCS, has been a very productive experience, drawing on our respective lineages of CCCS, whilst also recognising the extensive impact that Stuart Hall’s research and teaching had.
“Working collectively on research projects, as was the way at CCCS, greatly influenced much of my later professional work; the sharpness of the thinking about popular culture which I found there stayed with me and continued to propel me into new ventures.
“The bulk of my time since leaving CCCS has been spent in the film and television industries in a number of creative capacities; firstly, as Founding Producer at Birmingham Film and Video Workshop, then Film Festival Director in Birmingham, followed by stints as Financier, Exec Producer and Head of Production at MIDA in Liverpool, BFI and UK Film Council in London, and Scottish Screen in Glasgow. I moved into film in the academic context in the late 2000’s with professorial associations at the Cuban Film School, Glasgow Caledonian University and Edge Hill University. However, it was research I pursued at CCCS into oppositional film making in the 1930’s that got me into a professional role in film in the first place.”
The exhibition launches at the Bramall Music Building at the University of Birmingham on Wednesday June 4 between 5pm and 7pm. It runs until Wednesday July 30 at the Bramall Building and Rotunda, Aston Webb.
More information about the exhibition and CCCS can be found by reading this blog.