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Archive for October, 2019

Exploring the ethics of new technologies

This Autumn Knowle West Media Centre is hosting two free workshops exploring the ethics and uses of new technologies: Guess Who? will uncover how facial recognition systems make decisions about us, while Become an AI Activist invites you to use Artificial Intelligence technology in social action and protest.

Join a friendly group for a day of discussion and creativity as we ask the question: whose intelligence is it anyway…?

No experience with coding or technology is needed and both workshops will be interactive and fun, led by two fantastic teams of artists and creative technologists. You can book for one or both workshops, and lunch will be provided on both days.

Find out more about each event below and contact Martha to reserve your free place.

Guess Who?

Monday 21 October, 10am – 3pm
Location: KWMC: The Factory (Filwood Green Business Park)

This workshop will explore how facial recognition systems make decisions about our identities, led by artists and creative technologists Ellie Foreman and Rachel Smith.

Together we will demystify the Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based technologies that are responsible for facial recognition and explore the ethical implications associated with its use.

By playing with a physical door controlled by an existing facial recognition system, we will discover how these technologies work, the bias baked into such systems, and how to trick them (with the help of fake moustaches and paper!)

We will then make our own facial recognition application – no coding experience required.

Find out more here.

Become an AI Activist

Monday 28 October, 10am – 3pm
Location: KWMC: The Factory (Filwood Green Business Park)

A workshop exploring how to use conversational AI (Artificial Intelligence) as a medium for protest. Run by artists and creative technologists Coral Manton and Birgitte Aga.

Coral and Birgitte have been developing a ‘feminist chatbot’ for over a year with groups of self-identifying women from across the country through a project called: Women Reclaiming AI for Activism (WRAI). In this workshop you will have the chance to:

– find out about the WRAI project

– learn how to create your own activist chatbot for an issue you care about (such as equality or the environment)

– find out how to involve your wider community in using conversational AI as a medium for protest.

This is an opportunity for collective action and protest, and a space for you to share your thoughts and be listened to.

Childcare and travel bursaries are available.

Find out more here.

HOMECOMING celebrates Knowle West’s musical history

On Thursday 19 September we hosted a special night exploring the music history of Knowle West and its influence on the Bristol Sound. The event was programmed in collaboration with Gary Thompson, filmmaker, creative and founder of Cables&Cameras, who grew up in Knowle West and got in touch with us to suggest hosting this event as part of the Homes for Heroes 100 programme.

HOMECOMING was an evening of music, film and conversation, charting the lineage of pioneering musicians from Knowle West and their contributions to the city and beyond.  In September 1989, Fresh Four released top ten hit ‘Wishing On A Star’, an example of the bass-driven and female vocal-led sounds bubbling up from Bristol’s underground at the time. From here, DJ Krust developed an internationally renowned electronic music career. Trip-hop forefather Tricky was a Knowle West Boy, and new talent continues to develop today in bedrooms, back gardens and the music studios of Knowle West Media Centre.


How has growing up in the neighbourhood shaped these artists? What local venues and community champions have supported them on their way? What would Bristol’s music history look like without the cultivating grounds of council estates across the city? HOMECOMING provided a powerful line up of DJs, musicians and filmmakers to discuss these questions and share their stories.

Over 60 people from across Bristol and Knowle West came to enjoy the night, and we hope it will spark many more events where the unique music talent of Knowle West can be widely celebrated.

Special thanks to Cables&Cameras, artists: DJ Krust, Gary Thompson, Kala Chng, 3 Culture, DJ Bunjy and music journalist and host Joe Muggs.

The event was part of KWMC’s creative programme 100 Years of Knowle West Style. 100 Years is part of the wider Homes For Heroes 100, city-wide projects marking a century of council housing coordinated by Bristol Cultural Development Partnership.Homes For Heroes 100 is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Bristol City Council.

Photos by Ibolya Feher

Visiting Knowle West on Open Doors Day

On a beautiful late-summer day, visitors flocked to Knowle West to take part in two special events programmed for Bristol Open Doors Day.

A special intergenerational neighbourhood walk, designed and led by local residents, was sold out: over 50 people were shown around Knowle West, discovering hidden histories and personal stories.

Artist Holly Beasley-Garrigan shared a work in progress version of her new installation I, OBJECT  presented in a resident’s house. I, OBJECT is a film installation created with local residents and supported by emerging filmmaker and Knowle West resident Dee Hassan. Through interviews with one person born in each decade since the estate was built, I, OBJECT  aims to reflect on almost a century of lived experience and explore the everyday objects people hold dear. Holly’s installation places the ‘macro’ of politics and planning policy alongside the ‘micro’ of people’s daily experiences, in order to challenge perceptions of who is traditionally permitted to tell working class stories…Audiences were invited to listen, explore and contrast the utopian dreams of the estate’s architects to the voices of the people who live here…


Artist/architect George Lovesmith re-opened the Sew Clever community sewing space on Filwood Broadway and was created a space for digital embroidery, drawing and sharing more about his residency so far. Since starting the commission in May, George has been has been knocking on people’s doors, admiring hanging baskets and bold design choices and having garden-side conversations with Knowle West residents.  This has enabled him to collect stories that catalogue the impressive extensions, inspiring DIY, amazing adaptations, and hacks and decorations in Knowle West homes and gardens. The personal touches people make to their homes are a form of everyday creativity that is worth documenting and speaks to the DIY spirit that runs through the community. George will be continuing to work in Sew Clever through early October to complete an embroidered hanging made with local residents.

People who used to live in the neighbourhood enjoyed returning and sharing memories, others who had never been before commented on how different the neighbourhood was to the way it can be portrayed. Everyone was enthused and intrigued to see how the artworks would develop ready to be shared on Thursday 17 October, as part of the Festival of the Future City.

The events were part of KWMC’s creative programme 100 Years of Knowle West Style. 100 Years is part of the wider Homes For Heroes 100, city-wide projects marking a century of council housing coordinated by Bristol Cultural Development Partnership.Homes For Heroes 100 is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Bristol City Council.

Photos by Ibolya Feher

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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