Communication for Change Festival: ‘Connections’

Loughborough University London

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The inaugural Communication for Change Festival will showcase a unique blend of academic panels, posters, exhibitions, workshops, and film screenings on the festival’s theme of ‘Connections’.

The festival is hosted by the Institute for Media and Creative Industries and organised in collaboration with: the Migrant Memory and the Post-colonial Imagination (MMPI) project; and the Rethinking Democracy (REDEM) research platform at Malmö University. It will be hosted at Loughborough University’s vibrant London campus in East London on 4-5 May 2020.

Festival Theme: ‘ Connections’

We live in a time where the social cohesion of our society is threatened and at risk. We are experiencing social and political conflict that suggest profound disconnections between what we aspire to do or become, and what is possible. Realities and imaginaries often connect poorly, many can’t make ends meet, and divisions between communities, cultures, nations are prevalent. Practices of communication both divide and bridge communities. In this context, the festival theme ‘connections’ draws attention to how the research and practice of communication for social change enhances a variety of connections, both disciplinary, temporal, spatial and relational. How do we connect the past with the present, the realities of the global North and South, the lives in one community to another, or the online media practices with the offline. How are disconnections overcome and connections enhanced?

Keynote speakers

Currently confirmed speakers include:

  • Ass. Prof. Paula Chakravartty, New York University
  • Prof. Silvio Waisbord, George Washington University
  • Anita Gurumurthy, IT for Change
  • Dr. Miguel Cardina, University of Coimbra

With more speakers to be announced soon!

Submitting an abstract – deadline extended to 2 March 2020

We are currently inviting abstracts from people and groups interested in participating in the festival. The festival seeks to foster a creative and interdisciplinary exploration of this topic, inviting abstracts from a broad gamut of inter-related fields of research and practice, such as: communication for social change and development, memory studies, conflict and development studies, media and cultural studies, migration studies, and postcolonial/decolonial studies. We equally invite abstracts from the perspectives of social change practitioners, activists, students and artists. The festival creates a space to explore ways of (re)building connections in highly divided contexts such as civil conflict and war, apartheid and partition, and separation through inequalities.

Abstracts should be 200-300 words, and should indicate:

  • Activity type (poster, paper presentation, fishbowls, workshop, film screening, other)
  • Participant type (academic, MA student, PhD student, practitioner, activist, artist, other)

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 2 March 2020.

Deadline for registration without paper: 6 April 2020.

Please send your submissions to


If you have any questions about the festival, please contact Dr Jessica Noske-Turner.

Register for the event