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UCF/IAMCR Grant 2014 winner named

IAMCR and the Urban Communication Foundation are pleased to announce that the 2014 UCF/IAMCR Urban Communication Research Grant will be awarded to Yiannis Christidis, a PhD candidate and lecturer in the Department of Communication and Internet Studies at Cyprus University of Technology.

Christidis was awarded the prize for his research project Soundscapes, Communities and Place Attachment in Urban Space: a study on the soundmarks of divided Nicosia and their effects. Honourable mentions will be awarded to a project submitted by Lu Pan, Bo Wang and another by Bria Cole.

The grant will support Christidis' PhD research project focusing on the acoustic community of the city center of divided Nicosia. The overall overall aim is to investigate place attachment through the soundmarks as far as the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities are concerned. Soundwalking and ethnographic interviews are used in order to explore how the inhabitants of the old city center give meaning to the existing soundscapes, and how these meanings influence the bonds of the inhabitants with their place overall.

Since earning his MSc in Sound Design in 2006 Yiannis has been working creatively in the multimedia industry, designing sound and music for audiovisual productions. Since 2009 he has been teaching and pursuing a PhD at Cyprus University of Technology. Place attachment, as formed through the sounds of everyday life, has been one of his focus areas, and his recent PhD research explores such socio-cultural aspects of the sonic experience.

This year the selection committee also highlighted two projects for honourable mentions:

  •     Lu Pan, a lecturer at the University of Hong Kong and Bo Wang, an artist and filmmaker currently based in Brooklyn, New York, will receive an honourable mention for their project Traces of an Invisible City: Visuality, Public Space and Cultural Anxiety in Hong Kong.

  •     Bria Cole, a media studies researcher and creator and recent MA graduate from The New School in New York, will be recognised for her project focusing on public space and digital technology.

Funded by the Urban Communication Foundation, the €1500 research grant supports communication and media research that advances our understanding of the growing complexity of the urban environment. It is predicated on the assumption that communication scholars have a valuable contribution to make to understanding the urban landscape. A 5-person committee, consisting of three IAMCR members and two Urban Communication Foundation representatives, judged the submitted proposals. The IAMCR representatives on the committee are Aimée Vega Montiel, Cees Hamelink and Nico Carpentier. The Urban Communication Foundation representatives are Gary Gumpert and Susan Drucker.

The research grant will be formally awarded at the 2014 IAMCR Conference in Hyderabad, India, July 15-19.