Working on StoryLab
Rowenna has worked in the role of Research Associate for the StoryLab project, based at the University of Central Lancashire. Her work has focused primarily on gathering evidence of StoryLab’s impact, which took her to Kuala Lumpur, Accra, and Ibagué in order to conduct and film semi-structured interviews with 20 of the StoryLab workshop participants. The results of these interviews form part of a short documentary. As a social scientist, Rowenna has also designed and implemented surveys for StoryLab in order to capture future evidence of impact.
Rowenna obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Warwick as part of an AHRC project entitled, ‘National Identity in Russia from 1961: Traditions and Deterritorialisation’. Her thesis focused on the concept of patriotic education in contemporary Russia, examining young people’s interpretations of belonging in the city of St Petersburg. Rowenna is a fluent Russian speaker and spent 5 months in St Petersburg conducting interviews with young people, teachers, youth club leaders, and local government officials, as well as creating an interesting photographic record of her observations.
Working on research projects over the years has given Rowenna experience in a variety of areas of social research. During her two years working at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Policy Evaluation Research Unit as Senior Research Assistant, she worked on several projects, most notably the EU-funded projects ‘MYPLACE – Memory, Youth, Place, and Civic Engagement’ and ‘MYWEB’ – Measuring Youth Well-Being’.
In 2016, Rowenna decided to pursue her growing interest in visual media by undertaking further study and training. She obtained an MA in Documentary Filmmaking from the Northern Film School in 2018. Since then she has directed and collaborated on several short documentaries that have been screened in film festivals internationally and gained awards. In 2018, Rowenna won the award of ‘Best Female Director’ at the Satisfied Eye International Film Festival for her short film focusing on pet bereavement, ‘Goodnight, Friend’. In 2019, another short film, ‘We Are All Migrants’, won the award of ‘Best short film’ at its world premiere at the Hebden Bridge Film Festival. Trailers for both of these films can be viewed here: