Communicating Without Words

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  • 5th April 2017

Beyond Words; Communicating in Silence

Beyond Words

More than 100 delegates including renowned artists and academics attended a conference at the University of Plymouth exploring how to communicate without the use of words. The Beyond Words conference was part of a wider research collaboration of the same name between the University’s Institute of Education and Plymouth Music Zone.

The conference ran over two days and sought to expand on that theme and examine how those facing problems communicating with words are valued and included across communities. Among the keynote speakers were poet and writer Lemn Sissay MBE; Norma Daykin, Professor of Arts in Health, UWE and University of Winchester; and Carol Taylor, Co-editor of Posthuman Research Practices in Education.

There was also a wide range of symposia, workshops and performances led by academics and practitioners based in Plymouth and beyond, with those sessions including:

  • A composer, musicologist and artist exploring how it feels to have dementia;
  • Lecturers in psychology introducing ‘contemplative seeing’, reclaiming our mobile phones as cameras to celebrate the world around us;
  • Researching how creative arts help children communicate what a safe space looks and feels like;

“The whole ethos of Beyond Words has been to find ways to give those who are regularly excluded from society a voice. This conference focussed on that goal, generating a creative and collaborative atmosphere that fostered a series of innovative ideas aimed at helping those people. There are millions of post-verbal people living in the UK, and we hope that developing a better understanding of how they communicate will have a positive impact on them and on society as a whole.” – Professor Jocey Quinn University of Plymouth

To find out more about the conference and if there will be any similar ones in the future, click here.