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Staff Profile

Rory Wells

PhD Researcher: Community music and movements for social change

With supervision from Professor Lee Higgins, my PhD seeks to understand and establish local and global networks for activist-musicianship through which community music interventions orientated around issues of social justice can be developed collaboratively.

I am a community musician with over a decade of broad experiences of practice. I practice in settings ranging from work with people with experiences of involuntary displacement, those experiencing struggles with their mental health, within youth work contexts and within movements for social change. I currently work within Yorkshire-wide mental health charity Touchstone within 2 roles. I hold the role of Creative Arts Lead within the charity, leading on the development of musical, visual, and performing arts interventions for those accessing the charities services. Alongside this role I work as an asset-based community development (ABCD) community builder in a community with a large demographic of newly arrived peoples, as well as being embedded within the broader international movement of ABCD.

This project aims to seek out and build networks of mutual aid and solidarity with those using music within contexts of social justice. My research strives for a deep commitment to meaningful participation and amplification of marginalized voices and looks to question how the field of community music, from practitioners, commissioners and participants may effectively speak to power and effect social change.

  • School – School of the Arts