Culture, Connection and Creativity

Culture, creativity and the way in which humans connect is central to our identity as individuals and communities. To face the future, we must understand our past, our cultural differences and our common reference points. We must understand how we communicate and how we engage. UNESCO summarised this simply: ‘development is inseparable from culture.’

Placing culture at the heart of our endeavour towards a fairer, more sustainable future is the only way to ensure human-centred, inclusive and equitable development. For us, culture and creativity are both academic and performance-based, both theoretical and applied. They are engaged locally, nationally and internationally.

In the first phase of Eastern Arc, one of our three foundational themes was around digital humanities. This will continue, but we will explore the use of connective and communication technology more broadly.

Technology has already transformed the way we interact, the way we see, and the way we comprehend. For it to be used constructively, it is important that there is a dialogue between our cultural and scientific understanding.

We have the structure and outlook to make this happen. In both the arts, humanities and digital technology, as well as in our special collections, we encourage dialogue and cross-disciplinary working.

For instance, engineering and digital arts come together in a single school at Kent, the Faculty of Humanities at Essex has at its heart a ‘flexibility of spirit and collaborative ethos,’ and practice research, including the world-leading creative writing programme at UEA, informs and interacts with disciplines across the University.