The Creative Laboratory: Searching and Researching through Practice 23 June 23

UAL launches the first in a series of international research conferences – see the full programme here.

The Creative Laboratory: Searching and Researching through Practice, explores the intersection of creativity and critical thinking via practice as research, through addressing the issues of today.  

“An abiding theme in my work is how to rebuild the ‘connective tissue’ of a culture in the aftermath of violence and atrocity. In this short presentation, I explore some new footage from a forthcoming gallery installation Chambers of the Heart (2024) working with visionary people who dare to develop dialogue in the aftermath of unspeakable loss. What might be born when victims and perpetrators seek to see what can be recovered in each other’s humanity? Can such stories offer a new path through polarisation to help interrupt the slide towards toxic polarisation to alienation or hatred?” Pratāp Rughani

Professor Pratāp Rughani, Documentary Filmmaker, Associate Dean of Research, London College of Communication UAL and Professor in Documentary Practices, is currently developing a project based on restorative practices and the development of dialogue in the aftermath of conflict, including navigating tensions between ‘free’ speech and hate speech.

Ordinary Notes: Christina Sharpe reading and discussion 6 June 2023, CSM 6 – 7.30 pm

Professor Pratap Rughani joins Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor David Mba University of the Arts London in responding to the readings of “Ordinary Notes”, at Central St Martins, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AA, book here.

“A singular achievement, Christina Sharpe’s Ordinary Notes explores, with immense care, profound questions about loss, pain and beauty; private memory and public monument; art; complexity; and the shapes of Black life that emerge in the wake. In a series of 248 brief and urgent notes that cumulatively gather meaning, artefacts from the past – both public ones and the poignantly personal – are skilfully interwoven with present-day realities and possible futures, intricately constructing an immersive portrait of everyday Black existence.”

Christina Sharpe is Professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities at York University in Toronto and the author of Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects (Duke 2010), In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (Duke 2016) and Ordinary Notes (Knopf/FSG/Daunt 2023).

Ferryman of Memories: The Films of Rithy Panh by Deidre Boyle book launch + conversation 30 Mar 2023

THURSDAY | MAR 30 | 5–6:30 PM | Eastern Time (US and Canada)
FERRYMAN OF MEMORIES: The Films of Rithy Panh
(MARCH 2023, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY PRESS)Conversation with author DEIRDRE BOYLE and writer VICENTE SÁNCHEZ BIOSCA (University of Valéncia). Moderated by filmmaker PRATAP RUGHANI (University of the Arts, London). The book, Ferryman of Memories: The Films of Rithy Panh features the story of award-winning filmmaker Panh, a survivor of the Cambodian genocide who moved to France, and discovered a film language to tell what happened to the over two million souls who suffered at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.

Steel Shutter Revisited, 50th Anniversary Conference, Belfast, 1 Dec 2022

On 1 December 2022, an anniversary event was held, of interest to stakeholders in: peace and reconciliation, education, conflict resolution, trauma, psychotherapy, legacy studies, counselling.

In 1972 at the height of the violent Troubles in Northern Ireland a group of people including the famous psychologist Carl Rogers, attempted something radical. Taking great risks for all involved they flew nine stakeholders (5 Protestants and 4 Catholics) from Ireland to Pittsburgh and filmed a three-day encounter group. The highlights of this process were captured on a video called The Steel Shutter. On the 1st of December, exactly 50 years to the day we are hosting a conference to revisit this achievement in peace and reconciliation.

We believe that this encounter is more relevant today than ever.

Speakers will be analyzing the past, taking stock of the present, and looking to the future:

Peace Fire – Dr. Michael R. Montgomery

The Forgiveness Project – Marina Cantacuzino, MBE

University of the Arts London – Professor Pratap Rughani

Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation – Naoimh McNamee, CEO

Researcher, Vienna – Dr. Michael Weiss

Researcher, Dublin – Robert Barry, MA

Author – Dr. Tony Mcauley

ELIA Biennial Conference 23 – 26 Nov 22

The conference No stone unturned was held at the University of Arts, Helsinki, Finland.

Professor Rughani was in conversation with the keynote speakers.

“ELIA Biennial 2022 seeks to create an open exploratory space for all. A place where the unique complexities facing higher arts education today can be picked up, turned over and closely examined to see what lies beneath. We want to look at all sides from all angles. Run our fingers down the cracks, study the joins, take the rough with the smooth and discover those hidden gems.”

ELIA is a globally connected European network that provides a dynamic platform for exchange and development in higher arts education.

The Inaugural An-Sophie Fontaine Human Rights Award in Documentary Film, Fastnet Film Festival, Ireland 25 – 29 May 2022

Professor Rughani, along with students of MA Documentary Film at London College of Communication introduced the new human rights in documentary film award supported by the Screen School at London College of Communication, at the Fastnet Film Festival awards ceremony, on Saturday 28 May.

Symposium on Practice Research in Social Design: Definitions, Contexts, Futures 19 May 2022

Pratap Rughani was one of the speakers on Day 1 of the Symposium, held in person at Chelsea College of the Arts, UAL and online.

Opening Panel: Setting the Scene 

This session sets the scene by situating practice research in design in a broader context. It shares perspectives from academic fields and professional practice that use practice research to advance knowledge and develop responses to social and sustainability issues. What are the achievements and what has been learned from using this approach? What are the barriers and enablers to carrying out high quality practice research? What outcomes can practice researchers work towards?

Introduction and welcoming remarks: Professor David Mba, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise, UAL.

Chair: Professor Lucy Kimbell, Social Design Institute, UAL


Professor Harriet Hawkins, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway

Indy Johar, Dark Matter Labs

Professor Pratap Rughani, London College of Communication, UAL