Conference Essay: Exploring Spaces of Opportunity for Everyday Creativity


  • Laharee Mitra University of Brighton
  • Helen Johnson University of Brighton



In this conference essay, we reflect on a sandpit, organized by the AHRC Everyday Creativity Research Network on the theme of place-making and everyday creativity. We begin by introducing the Everyday Creativity Research Network and the problems faced in defining everyday creativity, which was a key objective of this sandpit. We then discuss the program and major themes identified during the event. We distinguish between the concepts of "space" and "place," with particular consideration into how these concepts shape policies on everyday creativity. "Spaces of opportunity" is proposed in this context as a potential term that offers a framework to understand subjective and collective uses of creativity. We also identify constraints that hinder everyday creativity, including limitations on resources and lack of access. We explore how present models of creative initiatives are restricted by bureaucratic procedures that necessitate a focus on output as a measure of impact. We conclude by reflecting on future actions for this Network to propose alternative models of creative initiatives that encourage everyday creativity in a way that minimizes judgments and barriers while respecting local understandings of creativity.


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Author Biographies

Laharee Mitra, University of Brighton

Laharee MITRA is a doctoral researcher at the University of Brighton and the postgraduate research representative for the Everyday Creativity Research Network. In her doctoral research, she examines how museum learning and engagement practitioners perceive and enact decolonization in UK based museums. She has previously worked at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai as a curatorial assistant and has volunteered with Kew Gardens, London, Centre of World Environmental History, University of Sussex and V&A, London. Her research interests include public engagement with heritage, emotional experiences in museums, and cultural management.

Helen Johnson, University of Brighton

Helen JOHNSON is a principal lecturer in psychology, co-director of the Centre for Arts and Wellbeing at the University of Brighton and principal investigator for the Everyday Creativity Research Network. In her work, she focuses on participatory and arts-based research innovations, applications of the arts in enhancing health and wellbeing, and exploring spoken word communities and practices. Current research projects include enriching understandings and applications of everyday creativity, decolonization in the context of everyday creativity and creative research methods, and community-university partnership work exploring collaborative processes and resource development. She is also a spoken word artist and stage manager for Glastonbury Festival's Poetry&Words stage.


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How to Cite

Mitra, L., & Johnson, H. (2024). Conference Essay: Exploring Spaces of Opportunity for Everyday Creativity. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 25(1).



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