21 - 22 Oct 2019 / 11.00

Pop Culture – Young People – Migration & Social Change


21-22 October 2019, Gulbenkian, University of Kent, Canterbury

A 2-day ‘retreat’ as part of Platforma 5


Pop Culture and Social Change is a pioneering project from Counterpoints Arts exploring how the power of pop culture can be harnessed to shift the way we talk, think and feel about migration and displacement.

As part of Platforma 5, the fifth arts & refugees festival run by Counterpoints Arts, we are holding an event in partnership with Gulbenkian exploring how youth-focused pop culture formats can create positive social change relating to migration and displacement.

The main part of this event is for invited participants only, following an open call in July. If you would like more information about the outcomes, or the project overall, contact


We will focus on three pop culture strands:

– Music
– Videogames
– Online TV

Across the 2-days there will be a chance to engage with all three areas in relation to social change / migration & displacement, and the opportunity to focus on areas of particular interest.


During the retreat all participants will have the opportunity to engage with content from all three main strands. For example, we will look at Bury Me, My Love the recent videogame from The Pixel Hunt. And we will be considering:

– Examples from mainstream and ‘alternative’ games

– The impact of videogames on understanding of migration

– Diversity within the games industry

– How new games can be developed and distributed

– Building a network of people with an interest in videogames & migration

On the evening of 21st October, there will be a screening of the documentary MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.

With regards to music, migration and displacement we will consider issues such as:

– How artists are changing the distribution models for new music so as to be in more control of their output and create new opportunities

– Approaches to bringing issues such as migration into artists’ creative output

– How to make effective links between arts & activism

– Learning from the musical archives

And we will look at how online TV from BBC 3, Netflix and others can engage wide audiences through drama and comedy. Questions to be considered might include:

– What opportunities already exist for young creatives from refugee & migrant background?

– What more can broadcasters do to increase opportunity?

– Where are the potential crossovers between self-made content and  ‘broadcast’ content and where are the differences?

– What might the industry look like five years from now?

21 - 22 Oct 2019


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