Louise Platt, member of the Institute of Place Management, leads on the MA International Cultural Arts and Festival Management programme at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her main teaching revolves around arts and cultural management, urban regeneration and cultural policy, events and festivity in communities, and she supports research students in related areas at MA and PhD level. Her own PhD was an examination of the performance of identities during the Liverpool 2008 Capital of Culture year. She have since focused on work related to identity and leisure practice from dog walking to knitting. Her current research is an examination of the Manchester and Salford Whit Walks as markers of identities in evolving urban spaces, particularly examining the post-secular city, working class communities and shifts in community identities. Louise is on the executive committee of the Leisure Studies Association. Continue reading “Meet the IPM: Interview with Louise Platt”
by Louise Platt*
The research community within the IPM is constantly challenging how we think about place and what place means. I am concerned about people (and even their non-human companions!) in places. I have long struggled, as many academics have, with the idea of place-making and the queasy notion of wading into communities and suggesting that these places can be ‘better’. My own PhD research examined communities how they shape their own identities through drawing or resisting place-imaging projects. By spending time with community groups and undertaking participant observation at official and unofficial Liverpool Capital of Culture events (both during and after 2008) I was able to understand how local people performed identities which related to their sense of belonging to their neighbourhoods and the wider city. It considered the balance between creative improvisation and the constraints of social and cultural norms in forming identities.