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New exhibition reveals the fascinating world of urban learning

4 August 2017

A new exhibition celebrating the people and projects which make up Bristol’s rich tapestry of learning is coming to Hamilton House.

'Learning City: A Self-Portrait' runs from 25 August to 5 September and explores the different ways people learn and how spaces, people and objects support that learning.

An interactive display brings together photographs, film, drawing, personal stories, craft objects and cultural artefacts to capture the ethnographic work of researchers at the University of Bristol, supported by community researchers.

The focus is on how people learn outside of the structured education system, whether it's through community centres, theatre groups, protests or charities.

Researcher Dr Magda Buchczyk, from the School of Education at the University of Bristol, said: "The exhibition will reveal the fascinating world of urban learning that is often overlooked in educational research. We hope the public will come along and take a closer look at something that surrounds us but is often taken for granted."

A day of talks from researchers and community groups will take place on Saturday, 2 September, exploring how we learn in the city through everyday practices, formal education, and social and community engagement.

'Learning City: A Self-Portrait' forms an integral part of the Reinventing Learning Cities project, which has at its heart a desire to study and interpret the many different aspects of learning which take place in Bristol.

It will celebrate Bristol becoming England's first UNESCO Learning City – part of a world-wide network that champions learning as a way to transform lives, communities, organisations and cities.

The exhibition brings together contributions from a number of initiatives and community groups, including Barton Hill Settlement, Countering Colston, Dhek Bhal, Easton Community Centre, Rainbow Project, Refugee Women of Bristol, St Mungo's, Workers' Educational Association, and Wild Walks to Wellbeing.

  • 'Learning City: A Self-Portrait' takes place from 25 August to 5 September at Hamilton House Gallery, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3QY. Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9am to 8.30pm; Saturday to Sunday, 9am to 4.30pm. Entry is free.
  • The opening event takes place on 25 August at 6pm. Free tickets available online
  • The closing event, taking place on 5 September at 5.30pm, includes community poetry readings and presentations by Tommy Jarvis, the City Council's Bristol Learning City programme manager, and the University of Bristol Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Judith Squires. Free tickets available online

It has been jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Connected Communities programme and the University's Brigstow Institute.