• alicjapawluczuk

re:discovering myself // Swapping Community Digital Practice for Academic Research

I remember storming into Pilton Video in 2011, demanding some "sort of volunteering

experience". Thankfully, Joel Venet, was kind enough to find me something to do.

Joel is still a great friend and a mentor. He had introduced me to the whole idea of participatory media and video activism. Pilton Video ( now Screen Education Edinburgh) provided me with a unique opportunity to work alongside experienced media tutors, filmmakers and community activists. It was back then that I decided to define my role as a participatory media worker.

Never Give Up // Collaborative Documentary by Alicja Pawluczuk 2011

Over the years, I’ve collaborated with communities from all over Scotland and South East Asia. I experimented with different technologies and participatory methodologies. (To be perfectly honest though, most of the time I just followed my instincts, which seemed to work just fine!)

Being open minded often helped me, when things would not go according to plan. With some of the most challenging projects, I experienced some of the most amazing transformations. My work as a digital media practitioner taught me a lot - not only about other people, but mainly about myself.

Participatory practice is definitely a two - way learning process. You invite people to a storytelling journey, in return they open your eyes to new ideas and ways of life.

Other peoples’ stories were always at the centre of my work. This is what I am good at - empowering others to express themselves. Now is the scary part, I am faced with a challenge of creating and managing my personal narrative in this blog.

It’s time to stop my practical digital work for a

bit and actually REFLECT on it.

I’m re:discovering my role.

I me expecting to have loads of time to read, think and write about digital media stuff.

I am sure that my new life, as a PhD student, will also provide me with loads of exciting stories.

So, my plan - for the next 3 years - is to curate this space with some interesting content regarding digital co-creation and social impact ( which is the topic of my proposed research project) as well as my personal perspective on my life as an aspiring academic...

Wish me luck.

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Dr Alicja Pawluczuk

Alicja’s research, art and community education practice focuses on digital inclusion and education, gender digital divide and feminism. She is a founding director of the digital inclusion and digital storytelling collective Digital Beez. Through the use of participatory, critical and multidisciplinary approaches, she aims to examine the power dynamics associated with the digital and data divides.

Alicja’s digital inclusion practice is rooted in the areas of democratic education and community development. She has extensive experience in digital inclusion community projects design, facilitation, and evaluation. Both her community engagement practice and her research are characterised by the use of experimental and interactive methodologies. Over the last 10 years, her work has been responding and changing in accordance with the contexts of digitalization of society. Alicja has a track record of peer-reviewed publications and cross-disciplinary public engagement activities. Both her research and practice are characterised with the use of experimental and creative methods. She has managed and contributed to digital literacy and digital inclusion and learning projects with the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and Erasmus.

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