Winners of the Grassroots Award announced

Discover which five independent event organisers were awarded up to £1000 to support their BDF17 event

Photo by Oleg Pumlemjotov

Brighton Digital Festival wants to be a vehicle for social change, connecting people from communities across the city with opportunities for expressing their creativity, for exploration of digital culture and understanding how digital culture is shaping their future.

In light of this, we created the Grassroots Award, a fund for supporting independent event organisers in putting on events that would be unable to happen without financial support. Earlier this year we offered a handful of awards of up to £1,000 to proposals for events that engaged communities that are typically underepresented in the festival.

We are delighted to announce the following events have been selected and will be taking place during Brighton Digital Festival 2017 with the support of the Grassroots Award.

The Secret Life of Teens: Online Identities, Image and Relationships

Over the summer, Tasha Mansley, workshop facilitator specialising in sex, relationships, gender, body image and mental health for young people, will run a series of focus groups for 10 to 16-year-olds to consider how social media and digital technology affects their self-esteem, well-being and relationships.

The findings of these focus groups form the basis of this event; a practical and interactive workshop for parents/carers to gain insight, share their concerns, develop strategies in relation to their teens’ and pre-teens’ relationship to digital technology, and gain confidence in talking to them about social media, cyberbullying, porn, sexting and more.

Healing Through Archives: Coming Home

Online with test events at Sussex University

This digital archive project by Transforming Archive trainee Abira Hussein explores heritage, migration and mental health through the theme of loss in conflict. It asks how digital technologies can help heal the trauma of forced exile.

Working with 3D artists in the Horn of Africa, Hussein considers how current pioneering technology in visualisation can be used to experience ‘home’, through the combination of archival materials, memories and scans of locations in Somalia. The aim is to allow the Somali community, as well as the wider public, to begin conversations about what migration means to those that fled and those that were left behind.

The Kitty AI: A Response

40 students aged between 12 and 16 from Portslade Aldridge Academy (PACA) will work with writing charity Little Green Pig, and film-maker Lucas Orme, to create a 3- minute film in response to Pilar Yoldas’ ‘Kitty AI’. Writing their version of what the world will be like in 2039, and their place in it, they have created an alternative ruler taking inspiration from Kitty AI.

On 13 October at the Brighton Digital Festival’s first in-house conference, The Messy Edge, students will present their finished film to a new audience.

Postcards from an East Brighton childhood

A pop-up installation depicting East Brighton imagery, from the racecourse to the seafront, using lenticular sound postcards. The postcards have sound-activated childhood memories/stories, in extracts from residents across the area. Part of each postcard is animated so that as you slide the lens over the surface, different images and their soundscapes are triggered.

The installation will be exhibited at Whitehawk Library, Valley Social Centre Whitehawk and the entrance of ASDA Brighton Marina as part of their commitment to the local community. This project is a collaboration between artist Bonny Cummins and producer Josh, founder of

B.Game — Level Up

B.Game is a youth-led social group which holds free and accessible events and meetings to provide opportunities to share experiences through gaming. After a successful beta test during B.fest, the group sought funding to help it stage the event on a regular basis, so the community can continue to socialise through gaming. Whether you’re a Mario Kart champion or a Tekken button basher, you’ll find gaming gems amongst the wide selection of titles and consoles at this retro-meets-new-gen gaming evening. Youth-led, all welcome.

If you’re a fan of outstanding community activity and individual creativity that is at the heart of Brighton Digital Festival then these are the events for you. For more information on the Brighton Digital Festival programme, visit

Brighton Digital Festival

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An annual open programme of events exploring digital culture that takes place in venues across the City. 12 October — 25 October 2019. #BDF19

Brighton Digital Festival

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