Founded in 2015 by its director, Dr Joanne Norcup, Geography Workshop is an independent production company developing workshops, events and multi-media productions to create equitable sustainable worlds. We experiment with new ways of connecting with communities of scholars, researchers and creatives to make capacious possibilities with social, racial and environmental justice at our core
We provide consultancy and research as well as educational productions and workshops based on 20 years of experience working across schools, universities and sites of community and public learning to enrich ongoing productions with the intention of cultivating creative, curious and capacious learners of all ages and abilities for sustainable and equitable futures.
Our work amplifies and celebrates nuanced and diverse accounts of the world that enrich audiences and practitioners. Maintaining ongoing connections, dialogues and engagements with the people and communities we work with is factored into the work we do.
Our motto: nostrum est creare mundum: translated from Latin means it is our duty to create our world. Another way of phrasing this is the world is ours to create. It serves as reminder that we all have agency and energy in the world and what we do and don’t do affects the immediate worlds we exist in. Education and multi-media productions play a part in shaping how we all see the world and our places in it. How we work, how we listen, and what we would like the world to be and how we can contribute from where we are with the resources, we have helps shape our daily realities and the lives of those we encounter going forward.
What we do:
- Initial production consultation,
- Collaborative and solo commissioned research work (based around archives / qualitative / mixed-methods praxis),
- Project/production management,
- Radio programme and podcast workshops,
- One-off and curricular/module designing of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops/fieldtrips with a focus on humanities (geography/history/arts),
- event-specific workshops and half-day/full-day/residential/online and in-situ fieldtrips,
- Invited guest speaking,
- Bespoke one-to-one tutoring / learning support.
At the heart of all of Geography Workshops productions are a core set of principles and values. How we work across all stages of a production – pre and post – are informed by these values and principles.
- Courtesy – Everybody is welcome at Geography Workshop. Whatever age, gender, sexuality, race, ableism, we listen and learn to develop productions that are capacious and allow for safe and accessible nuanced conversations and dialogues. We are pro-equity and are committed to anti-racist and anti-sexist practices.
- Integrity – We work transparently with clients and co-producers to ensure shared aims and values are amplified throughout the production process, creating an accessible and safe working relationship to facilitate onward conversations and sustaining working networks.
We build trust with our co-producers and clients and are responsive to and flexible of life-work balance. Our productions are interested in diverse multi-media, online and real space formats. Investment in ongoing training, skills and learning in Geography Workshop gives flexibility and builds capacity to remain resilient to changes and ensures a high-spec, relevant quality production for our clients and co-producers.
- Responsibility and resilience – We are part of a wider community and society, across temporal and spatial scales. How we work matters. Resources are sustainably, and where possible, locally sourced given the location of the production. We factor giving back to community and charitable organisations as part of our core values via project specific post-production outputs and ongoing community connections. Active post-production outreach has taken the form of donating a percentage of profits made from a project, a specific one-off fundraising event during or after a production, voluntary community work, proactive allyship to amplify the values and visions shared by GW and our clients.
Examples so far include:
* London Urban Tree festival sponsorship 2017 (Trees of Beeston),
* Amplifying and allyship with the work of community permaculture gardeners and allotment land workers via social media (Apothecary Allotment Garden),
* Fundraising for The Bat Conservation Trust and Trees for Cities (merchandise and auction connected with Landscapes of Detectorists project),
* Fundraising for The Trussell Trust (charity virtual pub quizzes organised pre and post the launch of the book Landscapes of Detectorists ),
* Sponsorship and hosting of access to free online archives of the anti-racist journal Contemporary Issues in Geography and Education (Contemporary Issues in Geography and Education),
* Amplifying, allyship and citation of the work of interdisciplinary academics and independent researchers, scholars, educators and artists of colour in spaces of learning and education (HGRG_RGS Practising Historical Geography (2019/2020), Photos and Phantasms research, Contemporary Issues in Geography and Education)
*Fundraising to support and amplify the work of humanities charities who work to make curricula and personnel working in humanities more diverse and capacious. Through our Virtual Scholarly Retreats and #SundayScholarlyWritingSessions Geography Workshop fundraising during the pandemic, 20% of all donations will be equally shared between The Black Curriculum and Arts Emergency
Wonderful stuff – warm, expansive, inclusive, insightful and evocative. I am absolutely delighted to be featured of course and it’s a real privilege given the vibrancy of the field that is Walking Women… It’s an amazing achievement
— Prof Dee Heddon, James Arnott Chair in Drama, University of Glasgow.
(Review of Women Who Walk radio programme co-produced with Resonance FM Productions for BBC Radio 4, 2018)
Jo has maintained this open, inclusive and welcoming philosophy for her project and for someone in the visual arts bubble this is and has been extremely valuable. It has meant that I was able to learn from other women walking artists and contribute to the growing interest in the genre.
— Dr Alison Lloyd (reflecting on her involvement with the pilot of ‘Er Outdoors, 2016)
The podcast workshop was engaging and enjoyable. It was refreshing to have dedicated time and space to think about podcasts, and to be encouraged to plan what our own podcasts might look and sound like. Jo was enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and responsive to questions and contributions. Lots of the workshop was hands-on doing and discussing, and Jo offered useful framing introductory and concluding thoughts. This was a great couple of days, and I left with the tools to think about and plan my own podcast, including a better understanding of the practicalities (costs, technological requirements, hosting), and useful frameworks to plan content and structure. Thanks – I think this was the best training course I have been on during my time at Exeter.
— Dr Jennifer Lea, University of Exeter (Podcast Workshop, May 2019)