Research Projects

Failed States and Creative Resistances: The Everyday Life of Punks in Belfast, Banda Aceh, Mitrovica and Soweto.

With Co-I Dr Robert Porter, this AHRC Early Career project explores the everyday lives and creative activities of ‘punk hinterland’ communities in the ‘failed state’ contexts of Belfast (Northern Ireland), Banda Aceh (Indonesia), Mitrovica (Kosovo) and Soweto (South Africa). These four research contexts share recent histories of intra-state violence and ongoing conflict, but are primarily analysed in terms of their shared marginality as cultural producers within contemporary neo-colonial global flows. Ethnographic research augmented by innovative and creative methodologies will aim to develop insightful critique. Based at the centre for Media Research, Ulster University, Coleraine.


‘Aiôn (Socio-anthropology of the imaginary of time. The case of alternative leisure activities)’.

The objective of Aiôn’s research is to propose a definition of alternative leisure activities and to question and delimit the notion of ‘imaginary’ in order to apply it to the analysis of reality. Jim contributes to the project through his work with punk communities in Northern Ireland and eastern France. This project is funded by the French National Agency for Research (ANR).


‘The Warzone Dialectogram Project’.

This creative ethnographic project, with the Belfast-based Warzone Collective anarchist/punk collective as research partners, is focused on a ‘dialectogram’ of their social space, which was evicted in September 2018 and subsequently demolished as a result of gentrification. The ‘dialectogram’ is a methodology which collaboratively creates an annotated A0-size rendering of a physical space, augmented by ethnographic interaction with the community. Part-funded by the Political Studies Association. An A2 fold-out zine format of this project is distributed by Black Fox Boox.


‘Sounding Conflict: from resistance to reconciliation’.

This project examines the role of sound and music towards peacebuilding in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Jim’s research focus has been on Northern Ireland and particularly the development of creative methodologies based on sound.