People and Dancefloors is a participatory research project looking at narratives of ordinary people, illicit drug use and dance culture in the UK.
The first output of the project is a 25-min documentary film which will be released publicly in winter 2020. In the meantime, you can watch the People and Dancefloors trailer here: https://youtu.be/FQhe_gVvIzY
For more info on our project, to participate in the research or find out about upcoming events, please check out the People and Dancefloors website: http://peopleanddancefloors.com/
In Conversation with Michael Kill
In Episode 14, Giulia is in conversation with Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association. The NTIA is a Trade Association and Membership Organisation that promotes the contribution of the Night Time Industry in the UK and internationally, highlighting the cultural, economic, and community contribution of night time businesses.
We talk about how the love of music and community drives people’s involvement in the night time economy as a career, which too often is not recognised as legitimate. We note the political unwillingness of accepting electronic dance music’s rich cultural contribution to the UK as a bottom-up growth that gives space to marginalised voices and communities, and the disconnect that exists with older generations of political stakeholders who have the most decision-making power.
We also discuss the role of drugs in the night time economy and the difficult situation that clubs and other venues are placed in when enforcing drug laws. The night time economy is a risk environment that presents significant challenges, including managing consumption of alcohol and other drugs. Michael’s remark here is poignant: there are unreasonable expectations placed on night time venues to keep drugs out when we cannot even keep drugs out of secure environments like prisons. We both see harm reduction as a key principle that should inform strategies to manage the night time economy.
We conclude by talking about visions for the future, agreeing that despite its tragic nature, the pandemic has presented us with an unprecedented opportunity to take stock and think about the changes we can make going forward.
Watch/listen to our chat here:
Follow the NTIA on Twitter @wearethentia and Michael on Linkedin
S01 E13 - Podcast with Earl Grey, producer and DJ
In Episode 13, Giulia is in conversation with someone close to her heart – Manchester producer and DJ Earl Grey
Giulia and Jim bonded over a shared love of music at Boomtown festival in 2016. When I first met him, I was expecting for him to bring up jungle and amen breaks, but he went on and on about Matthew Herbert 3
In the podcast, Jim talks about his journey into electronic music and his relationship to dancefloors (Shout out to Warp, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, and Radiohead for making dancefloors accessible to weirdos like us who enjoy superfast mad breaks, but also emotional depth).
We discuss the future of clubs and festivals, addressing the debate that’s recently become more forceful about who gets to play and make a living, and who gets excluded. We both agreed that rather than targeting and blaming individuals, we should be looking at structural hurdles, chiefly the government’s utter contempt for night time venues and the culture surrounding them, as well as local councils’ unwillingness to support clubs and music venues, pushed further by Nimbyists and developers.
Listen to our chat here
Check out Earl Grey on Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/earl-grey
S01 E12- In conversation with Rebecca Askew and Melissa Bone
In episode 12, Giulia is in conversation with Dr Melissa Bone and Dr Rebecca Askew, who make up the dream research team behind the Drug Policy Voices project.
Melissa is Associate Professor in the University of Leicester Law School. She is interested in the intersection between drug policy, law and human rights and wrote an excellent book on the subject, titled Human Rights and Drug Control: A New Perspective.
Rebecca is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is interested in drug policy, the perspectives of people who use drugs, and has written extensively about the many different functions of drug use.
In the podcast, we talk about the intersections between the personal and the political in research journeys into drug policy. We tackle utopian visions of the drug policy process, and the aims and ethos of the Drug Policy Voices project.
We all agreed that drug policy debates should make room for value-based positions and questions (Preach!!!) Participation, education, integration (2 better than Tony Blair :p)
The Drug Policy Voices project is already outlining the diversity and complexity of people’s experiences, views, and positions around drug policy. The project’s approach and methods are innovative and inclusive. To find out more about the project, including how to get involved, visit the website at: https://www.drugpolicyvoices.co.uk/.
Follow Melissa, Rebecca and Drug Policy Voices on Twitter for updates:
@melissa_bone @drskew @DrugPolicyVoic1
Or Instagram: @drugpolicyvoices
S01 E11 - In conversation with Stuart Taylor
Stuart Taylor is a senior lecturer in Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University. He has written extensively on the representation of drugs and drug users within the media. In this podcast Anthony Killick talks to Stuart about the relationship between media representation and the formation of drugs policy in the UK. They discuss the ways in which drug use and intoxication are framed by class, neoliberal ideologies, and particular consumption practices.
S01 E10 - Research group discussion
In episode 10 of the podcast, you get to hear from the People and Dancefloors team! Giulia, Eve, Anthony and Lee talk about the impetus beyond the project: to provide a platform for people’s subjective experiences in relation to drugs and dancefloors and the drug policy debate more broadly.
We also discuss the importance of turning the lens upon ourselves as researchers, activists, and drug users, which we address in our most recent article. Hear our musings about identity, class, privilege, and how these plays out in relation to drugs and status.
S01 E09 - In conversation with Verity Smith
In this episode, we invited Verity Smith, a PhD researcher at Durham University, to share insights from her ethnographic study of drug policing at music festivals. In the podcast, she reflects on the challenges of multiagency work in festival environments, focusing particularly on some of the tensions between enforcement policing and harm reduction and risk minimisation objectives. Verity takes us on a journey from policing, private security, and sniffer dogs at the festival gate, all the way to festival utopias.
Can we change the culture of festivals towards harm reduction embedded in festival environment design? Total ear candy!
Follow Verity on Twitter at @veritymasmith