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CoDesRes media cohort

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

Media Up-Skilling for SDG11; Sustainable Cities and Communities

Media Cohort training sessions, Images: Rebecca White

As part of Work Package 4: Media Transition, a Community Media Cohort, aims to up-skill local residents and contribute to an ongoing legacy; a media and repair cafe co-op once CoDesRes completes in January 2020. Our media equipment arrived before Christmas and we installed it in an office space in the library giving a secure yet accessible location.

Interested individuals were invited to an open-information session in Caherciveen Library in November. There was a great reception and motivation to form a cohort that would work together in sharing skills and having access to community-based audio visual equipment. The first phase was initiated from this information session, with the recruitment of 11 residents signed up and ready to take part in documenting and contributing to our projects as part of their training.

We recruited our initial cohort from local organisations (Acard Ltd, The Old Barracks, Poetry First, Art of Engagement, Portmagee Development Group, and Scary Dollies) and self-employed residents / small businesses as a means of insuring the aims of the training and the cohort; to contribute to SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities by maximising resources and the impact.

Recruitment flyer designed James Murphy

So how does this contribute to SDG 11; Sustainable Cities and Communities?

Part of the CoDesRes programme seeks to develop practical, tangible methods of engaging with the Sustainable Development Goals and the media cohort will contribute to this through SDG 4; Quality Education and SDG 11; Sustainable Cities and Communities. Underpinning the CoDesRes project is an arts-led approach and set of tools that were developed to contribute to sustainable and resilient communities through participation in creative placemaking. The original definition of creative placemaking was

In creative placemaking, public, private, not-for-profit, and community sectors partner to strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, tribe, city, or region around arts and cultural activities.
Markusen and Gadwa Nicodemus, 2010

CoDesRes expands this definition through its methodology and toolkit to embed social, environmental and economic justice in its processes contributing to more ethical practices of placemaking. Place branding or marketing for regeneration rather than placemaking is a limited, highly constructed representation of an area and can lead to gentrification, inequitable practices, or disempowerment and misrepresentation.

By encouraging and supporting communities to represent themselves and be able to share their own narratives of place, the CoDesRes approach contributes to a localised sustainable and resilient process of placemaking and SDG 11. The media cohort is proposed as an opportunity to learn audio and video skills that will enable members of the local community to tell their own story and share it with the local community and beyond.

Through the proposed media cohort training in web / social media, audio and video recording, participants will be able to develop for a range of media including vlogs, show reels and digital portfolios that places the construction and telling of their stories in their hands. To ensure sustainabilty through legacy activities, the initial media cohort was targeted to those within organisations that were working within the Kells to Castlecove communities.

This means that the skills learnt can be utilised by and for a greater number of people and will develop a skills network that can collaborate to support partnership activities across local organisations. Further, all the equipment that the cohort will learn in will remain in the community on completion of the project and be held within a community co-operative structure to provide ongoing access to the equipment.

We are very lucky to have as part of the CoDesRes team, our WP4 Leads, Rebecca White and James Murphy to deliver a bespoke training programme built around the cohorts’ different media education needs. Rebecca is a curriculum development expert with local and international experience with a range of students and James, a Portmagee native, is an experienced video editor and Company Director of Bold Puppy Ltd, an independent film and media company based in Dublin & Kerry, that operates on a national and international level.

We are also lucky to be part of SMARTlab Skelligs, a local campus that is part of a global network of technology hubs with a particular focus on technology for social change. Through this network we were able to offer a week-long foundational training in Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (XR) to local community residents. This was part of SMARTlab Skelligs launch of a Irelands's first community VR lab.

We look forward to sharing the work of our media team and community cohort over the coming months including their contribution to the edible-medicinal sculpture trail in Cahersiveen made possible by additional funding from the Creative Ireland fund. We are also keen to develop a media training partnership with Kerry Diocesan Youth Service and hope to be training a youth cohort and engaging them in our on-going projects.

With regards to a youth cohort, it is important that young people, many of whom use media and technology daily, become aware of the potential of media and technology as a tool for development, education and increasingly future employment and not just personal communication and entertainment. Many are unaware of the issues around media representation and messaging. These issues will be explored in a tangible way and enable the youth cohort to expand their existing skills with technology, currently used in the main for socialising and entertainment to become stronger through a deeper understanding of issues that these tools raise.

For more info on CoDesRes or to sign up to their newsletter please visit

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